Following heavy criticism in the press and from individuals in Tunisia and Egypt in relation to the close links between themselves and the old regimes the French Government has now announced it will be shipping aid directly to rebel held territory in Libya. This kind of direct interference is new from a European power and follows murmurings in Britain about a possible no fly zone.
Is this just a desperate and transparent attempt to make up for the revelations concerning Alliot-Marie or is it a genuine attempt to foster links with the new democratic forces in North Africa? Either way Sarkozy is still trying to politically revive his Club Med ambitions of a few years ago. If he is to maintain French influence in the area it is clear that Sarkozy has rather a lot of work to do in the coming weeks and will be competing directly with the UK and the USA both of whom also have some making up to do after years of propping up rather dubious regimes in the area.