Jean Sarkozy Was "Thrown To The Wolves," Says Father

French President Nicholas Sarkozy has come to the rescue of his son whose meteoric rise through the ranks of French government has come under stiff criticism.

Now, only 23 years old, Jean Sarkozy is in line to be in charge of Paris's top business district, says the BBC.

The cries of nepotism have been loud. AFP reports:

By Tuesday more than 40,000 people had signed an online petition urging the president's son, a blond-haired law student and fledgling politician dubbed "Prince Jean" by the press, to pull out.

The Sarkozys' reaction has been defiant in the face of pressure.

The Independent quoted the "taller, blonder, more handsome version of his father" as saying, "I am not more legitimate than other candidates but nor am I less legitimate."

According to Reuters, Jean later told Le Parisien: "Whatever I say, whatever I do, I will be criticized. Ever since I entered politics I have always been criticized. When you pursue this profession, you to expect it and prepare for it."

His father too has bitten back, with a quote appearing in The Times Of London and many other sources saying: "It is never right for someone to be thrown to the wolves without reason."

The job in question would mean the law student would be put in charge of La Defense business district, west of the city in Neuilly-sur-Seine. The Telegraph states the district holds up to 2,500 of France's top companies.

However, whether this goes on will remain to be seen. Some commentators wonder if the younger Sarkozy, already on the council at Hauts-de-Seine, the wealthiest department in France, and his ambitions may be beginning to irritate his father.

As the Telegraph goes on to speculate:

In a speech at a lycee, Mr Sarkozy appeared to heed the call, remarking that the French secondary school's creation by Napoleon I had heralded the "end of the privileges of birth".

In what appeared to be a thinly-veiled message to his ambitious son, he said: "(The creation of the lycee) meant: from now on what counts in France to succeed is no longer being 'well born' but having worked hard and proven one's worth through studies."

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