President Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered a campaign of terror to punish those responsible for rumors which circulated last month on supposed tit-for-tat, extra-marital affairs by the French first couple.
Although the rumors have been discredited – and formally denied – the Elysée Palace is not prepared to let the matter rest. Two journalists working for the internet edition of the Journal du Dimanche – which repeated the rumors in a website blog – have already been fired, apparently under pressure from the Elysée.
A senior communications aide to the President said that he expects other people responsible for spreading the reports on the internet to be fired and possibly sued. Pierre Charon said: “We are going to war on these ignominious reports. We want to take things as far as we can to make sure this will never happen again. We want those who tried to spread fear to feel fear themselves.”