Imagine a virtual queue much longer than for the results of a PCR test the day before leaving on vacation. Except that rue de Miromesnil, we are not jostling for the screening of Covid-19. Rather to come and consult Nicolas Sarkozy. It is there, in his vast offices in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, that the former president, officially retired from the political struggle, but not completely from the backyard games, has been receiving since 2012 and his departure from the Elysee Palace. There he comes to work daily, even in recent days, during confinement, while the “wiretapping” trial opens this Monday, November 23, in which he appears in particular for “active corruption”.
A discreet bell, an elevator with glass walls. A security officer, then another. Then discover the 323 square meters of offices where nothing fails to recall the life before of the former head of state. All visitors report the same ceremonial. “We settle in a small waiting room. There are plenty of photos of him and Carla, ”explains a regular. “There are medals everywhere, it feels like you are in an Olympic medalist or a veteran. It is a mausoleum in his glory… ”, an elected official from the Ile-de-France frowns. The boss opens the door, has his guest sit in front of the sofa on which he sits. An unchanging ritual: “Invariably there is a large box of chocolates. He offers one… he eats three! », Smiles the mayor of a big city.
“Meeting him is a form of recognition”
Still in a suit, Sarkozy does not fail to let go of a little thought if his interlocutor has the impudence to come without a tie: “ah hey, are you on vacation? “Follow 30 to 45 minutes of talks around a coffee, or a quick meal (” He lunched quickly, he does not like to eat “, notes a deputy) in a small adjoining living room. “Each time, a little phrase about Hollande, he can’t help it,” laughs a senator. On the right, we are extremely fond of these meetings. High-profile deputies, young wolves, mayors, party officials or even a simple local official, we go to Miromesnil as others would go to Lourdes, to meditate on the last man to have brought the family to the conquest of supreme power.
The former president, hypermnesic, takes news, continues on French, international, political news. “He’s really kind to young people. For us, meeting him is a form of recognition, ”greets Aisne MP Julien Dive. “Right after seeing it, I would knock out mountains!” »Exaggerates (a little) another LR deputy, Eric Diard, elected from Bouches-du-Rhône. Sarkozy, last coming back from a right at bay?
“He is the tutelary figure of the right. There is only him. And since we don’t have an obvious leader… It is normal for people to come and ask his opinion. Or that he plays the justices of the peace, justifies an intimate. “We go there out of nostalgia, to see a show, it’s TEA place to be. It’s always chic to say that we see Sarkozy. And then what ? We’re not going to go see Jacob either… ”laughs a Sarkozyst. Requests for visits are accelerating, especially as the elections approach. “Like that people can say, I saw Sarkozy, he supports me ! ”Laughs, as usual, Renaud Muselier, LR president of the South Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.
“An antechamber of the right” … and not only
But the oracle of Miromesnil does not attract only the right. The PS mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, whom he usually crosses in the bays of the Parc des Princes, has already come to have breakfast, as has the First Quaestor (LREM) of the National Assembly, Florian Bachelier. Many are asking for a hearing, but the Sarkozy camp is filtering out. The deputy (ex-LREM) Aurélien Taché, he was refused the requested appointment. A member of the boards of directors of the Barrière and Accor groups and of the supervisory board of Lagardère, the former president also sees senior officials and business leaders. “It’s very cash, it changes a bit. He gives advice, a lot of advice. Including in business, ”says a boss from the left, passed through his offices. “On the balance of power to be established in the economic world, I must admit that it is still quite strong! “
On those to be installed in politics too. The former mayor of Neuilly in Hauts-de-Seine has the reputation of having a tough tooth, including, and above all, in his own camp. “We laugh every time, but always at the expense of others,” said one visitor. Xavier Bertrand, “small provincial insurer”, has long been a privileged target. “It sounds a bit like Auntie Danielle…”, a LR executive told us some time ago. “As he says bad things about the one who has just left, you wonder what he will say about you the next one, just after,” grimaces a former regular.
“By receiving in his offices, he keeps his superiority. In Miromesnil, he built an antechamber to the right. Not only from the right, moreover… ”, notes an LR executive. With its parade of courtiers, its team of collaborators who have followed it since 2012, 77, rue de Miromesnil furiously resembles 55, rue du faubourg Saint-Honoré. “Basically, he has recreated a small Elysee”, sums up an intimate of this eternal addict to power. “If he stuffs his agenda, concludes an elected official, it is also because he is afraid of being bored. “
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr