Feature

A family tie to an old scandal.

The week's news at a glance.

France

Jacques Rouil
Ouest-France

The ghost of the Rainbow Warrior still haunts French politics, said Jacques Rouil in the Rennes Ouest-France. The Greenpeace ship, on its way to protest France’s planned test of nuclear bombs in French Polynesia, was sunk off New Zealand in 1985 by 12 French intelligence agents. One man drowned. Two of the agents responsible were eventually tried and jailed, but the identities of the others were never disclosed. So it was a shock to learn last month that one of the frogmen is the brother of Ségolène Royal, the front-runner to be the Socialist candidate for president. While it’s obvious that the leak was an attempt to discredit Royal, it’s unlikely that her Socialist rivals were responsible. Laurent Fabius, for example, though clearly upset that a woman might represent his party in his stead, would not want to dredge up the Rainbow Warrior scandal, since he was prime minister at the time and bore much of the blame. No, the tip must have come from the right wing. Its attempt to hamstring Royal, before the Socialists have even agreed to let her run, shows just what a threat the right believes her to be.

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