El ocaso de la aristocracia republicana de Francia

PARIS – No han rodado carretas con prisioneros camino a la guillotina en la Plaza de la Concordia de París, pero aún así puede que en Francia estemos siendo testigos de una revolución. En las últimas semanas hemos visto el juicio al ex Primer Ministro Dominique de Villepin y el ex Ministro de Defensa Jacques Pasqua. Hasta el ex Presidente Jacques Chirac sabe ahora que no es inmune a una acusación judicial. ¿Está a punto de caer la ampquot;Monarquía republicanaampquot; de Francia, para tomar prestada una frase de Jean-François Revel?

La Revolución Francesa nunca terminó realmente con los privilegios de las elites gobernantes de Francia. Es verdad que rodaron las cabezas de algunos aristócratas, pero la nobleza finalmente regresó al país. Cuando la República reemplazó definitivamente a la monarquía, en 1875, los votos reemplazaron el derecho de nacimiento, pero la nueva elite en el poder creía poseer los mismos derechos y privilegios que los ex aristócratas.

Sin embargo, el concepto de la ampquot;monarquía republicanaampquot;, que se refiere principalmente a las costumbres de los presidentes franceses y sus camarillas, no arraigó sino hasta la Quinta República. Una vez electo, el presidente francés y su corte disfrutan de privilegios financieros que no siempre son legales. Más aún, viven bajo un manto de secretismo: su uso de los aviones oficiales y los funcionarios civiles que emplean para su servicio personal, por no mencionar las amantes, siempre se han considerado territorio más o menos privado. Los periodistas evitaban hacer comentarios al respecto. El público no estaba al tanto de los excesos, o consideraba a la elite gobernante corrupta por definición.

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