Frédéric Mitterrand, France’s culture minister, was under pressure to resign after it emerged that he had admitted to paying “young boys” for sexual acts while on holiday in Thailand.
“I got into the habit of paying for boys...All these rituals of the market for youths, the slave market excite me enormously.
“One could judge this abominable spectacle from a moral standpoint but it pleases me beyond the reasonable.”
Mr Mitterrand, who joined the cabinet in June, was considered a great catch for Mr Sarkozy and proof of his “open” style of government; the minister comes from a grand Socialist family and is admired by many in the Left-wing cultural establishment. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the first lady, was said to have had a hand in his nomination.
Only under pressure to resign, and fighting back against it. After all this revelation was in his autobiography that he published a few years ago and no one raised a squeak about it then. That's european sophistication for you...