The Sharp Spur of Adversity

MICHEL SPINGLER / AFP/Getty

UNDER PRESSURE: The problems are piling up high for Sarkozy as his critics pile on

Former French President Jacques Chirac used to warn his advisers that problems tend to arrive in squadrons, usually flying in formation. It's a point on which his successor, Nicolas Sarkozy, might be tempted to agree. In the space of several weeks, Sarkozy's previously commanding leadership has come under fire from all directions. The French public appears to have had more than enough of his flashy, over-exposed private life. His highly touted economic reforms have so far largely failed to bear fruit. His approval ratings have plunged at a dizzying speed. Now many conservative candidates are looking to distance themselves from Sarkozy...

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