French president slams accusations by ex | Inquirer News

French president slams accusations by ex

/ 12:58 AM September 06, 2014

French President Francois Hollande speaks during a press conference at the end of the NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. AP

NEWPORT, Wales — France’s Socialist President Francois Hollande is defending himself against accusations by his ex-first lady that he despises the poor.

A visibly indignant Hollande insisted Friday on his commitment to “the weakest, the most humble, the poorest.” He called it his “raison d’etre,” or reason for being.

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“I will never accept … that the commitment of a lifetime may be put into question,” Hollande told reporters at a NATO summit in Newport, Wales.

According to a book by former partner Valerie Trierweiler released this week, Hollande once dismissed the poor as people with “no teeth” — a reference to those who cannot afford dental care. Hollande’s many critics have seized on the term.

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Hollande and Trierweiler broke up in January amid reports Hollande was having an affair with a French actress.

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TAGS: France, Francois Hollande, French President, nato summit, Newport, Valerie Trierweiler, Wales
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