MAY 7, 2008
Fillon for FIA President?
The Figaro newspaper in Paris is reporting this morning that France's Prime Minister Francois Fillon has a secret desire to become the president of the FIA.
Fillon has been the French Prime Minister since Nicolas Sarkozy won the presidency a year ago. In that time the government's popularity has waned and in recent local elections Sarkozy's party lost heavily. Since then the French population seem to have lost faith in Sarkozy and he now has the worst approval rating of any French president just 12 months into his term of office. According to Le Figaro, there are rumours in government circles that the relationship between Sarkozy and Fillon has cooled considerably. There are suggestions that Fillon will be replaced as Prime Minister after the French presidency of the European Union ends on December 31. Others say that Fillon will survive until after the elections for the European Parliament in June 2009, but few see him surviving beyond that.
Fillon is an enthusiastic motor racing fan and has attended most of the Le Mans 24 Hours races since his childhood. He is a member of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and on the organisation committee of the race, and he has competed himself in the Le Mans Legend historic sportscar races and in a number of other classic road rallies. Fillon is married to a Welsh woman and speaks English fluently. Now 54 he was once close to President Jacques Chirac but then joined forces with Sarkozy in 2005 after being dropped from the government at the time.