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Ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni wear face masks as they attend wedding

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, his wife Carla Bruni and their daughter Giulia attended the wedding of their mayor friend on Saturday as France suffered a record number of new daily coronavirus infections. 

A group of over a hundred people gathered outside the town hall for more than half an hour, and applauded the ex-President and his family when they arrived, who could be seen wearing masks.  

The wedding party and a smaller group of around 50 guests moved inside, with the wedding being held in a more discreet setting on the second floor of the building, away from the media.

The groom – Franck Louvrier – is the mayor of La Baule-Escoublac, a commune on the west coast of France, near Nantes, and was Sarkozy’s communications advisor during his presidency that ran from 2007 to 2012.

During the ceremony, Sarkozy gave a short speech to the groom and his new wife Sophie Jolivet, in which he emphasised the importance of commitment – in both love and politics. 

‘We live in a society where commitment is fought every day when it is only commitment that matters. In a commitment, we can make mistakes, we can make mistakes, we can fail,’ he said according to Ouest France.

‘Getting involved is the key to everything. What is politics if not the expression of feelings?’ he asked.

Former President, Nicolas Sarkozy (left) and his wife Carla Bruni Sarkozy (right) accompanied by their daughter Giulia Sarkozy attend the wedding of their friend, Mayor of La Baule, Franck Louvrier with Sophie Jolivet at the City Hall of La Baule today

Former President, Nicolas Sarkozy (left) and his wife Carla Bruni Sarkozy (right) accompanied by their daughter Giulia Sarkozy attend the wedding of their friend, Mayor of La Baule, Franck Louvrier with Sophie Jolivet at the City Hall of La Baule today

The groom, Franck Louvrier (right), was also Sarkozy's communication advisor during his time as the President of France. Weddings have been allowed in France after lockdown since June 2

The groom, Franck Louvrier (right), was also Sarkozy’s communication advisor during his time as the President of France. Weddings have been allowed in France after lockdown since June 2

The ex-president praised his former colleague and long-term friend’s determination to become mayor of La Baule, saying: ‘I can bear witness that Franck’s dream was here, in this city! For so long, and it has been difficult. And without difficulties, there is no happiness. 

‘What gives things a price is that we had to fight. Franck is a courageous man. And courage is not a quality that is eminently shared. Franck wanted to share and show that he himself could be number one. He demonstrated it, he proved it.’ 

As of June 2, weddings have been allowed in France, with the number of people allowed to attend being determined by the size of the venue. The government states that attendees must be able to maintain a distance of one meter.

The wedding comes on the same day that France recorded its record number of new Covid-19 infections in a single 24-hour period, but ruled out another lockdown. 

France yesterday reported 8,975 new confirmed cases, over 1,000 more than the previous daily record of 7,578 on March 31.  

However, up until now, the rise in infections has mainly affected young people who are less likely to develop complications from the virus. There has so far been less strain on French hospitals, which were almost overwhelmed at the end of March.

French Health Minister Olivier Veran speaks during a press conference on the situation of the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in France at the Hotel de Matignon in Paris, France, 27 August 2020

French Health Minister Olivier Veran speaks during a press conference on the situation of the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in France at the Hotel de Matignon in Paris, France, 27 August 2020

Health Minister Olivier Veran said today France must stay vigilant as more people will be hospitalised in intensive care units in the next two weeks, reflecting a flare-up in COVID-19 infections in recent days. 

Veran however ruled out the need for a new nationwide lockdown, telling BFM television that France had other means to fight the virus, including testing.

‘I cannot envision a general lockdown. The lockdown was a lid on an overflowing cooking pot,’ he said. 

After falling steadily for months following an April 14 peak of 32,292, the number of people hospitalised was up by 28 on Friday to 4,671, rising for a sixth day in a row.  

‘We are not all on the same epidemic wave as last spring. We are on a slower trend but one that must alert us,’ Veran said.

‘This week, 55 patients on average were hospitalised in intensive care units (ICU) each day, this means we are on an average of 1,500-2,000 people hospitalised in ICU units per month in our country. 

‘This is not neutral and we must be extremely vigilant,’ he added.

Current hospitalisation numbers reflected infections contracted two weeks ago, Veran said.

‘So it is obvious that in the next 15 days there will be an increase, it will not be massive but there will nevertheless be an increase in the number of severe cases and in the number of people hospitalised and in ICU units’.

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