Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy arrive at maternity clinic amid reports that birth imminent
NICOLAS Sarkozy, the French president, joined his wife Carla Bruni today at the Paris maternity clinic where she is due to give birth.
Huge crowds of reporters and onlookers were gathered behind security barriers outside the La Muette clinic, after reports that the 43-year-old first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was expecting an imminent delivery.
The Elysee Palace has said it will not speak publicly about the birth, which 56-year-old Mr Sarkozy and his wife regard as a private matter, but reports in the daily Le Figaro and on BFM television said it was imminent.
This would be the first time in modern French history that a sitting president has become a father, although Carla has a son from a previous relationship and Sarkozy has three.
Last month, the supermodel-turned-singer-turned-First Lady said she was not concerned about her baby being born during a time of political and financial turmoil.
Mr Sarkozy is reeling from a string political party funding scandals and low poll ratings. He also lost the French Senate in September for the first time in 50 years.
The latest French presidential poll shows that Socialist nominee Francois Hollande would handily beat Mr Sarkozy by 62 per cent to 38 per cent.
She told Madame Figaro, a glossy magazine produced by a newspaper loyal to her husband's government that the baby's arrival happens as "a happy carefree moment and that's how it's been since the dawn of time."
"We're in a time of crisis but if human reproduction was decided by thinking about whether you're going to have a perfect life, we wouldn't be here to talk about it, neither you nor I," she said.
"What's more, I think that the survival instinct is also expressed by the desire to have a child."
"Of course, I'll look after the baby, but I don't see that that should stop me working," she said, stressing that she receives a lot of help and does not have a difficult life.
"As to the duties related to my husband's job - and there are not so many - I do them willingly," she said.
Last month she also disclosed that she was desperate to give birth so she can start drinking alcohol and smoking again.
"Quite frankly, I can't stand it any more. I spend most of my time either sitting down or lying down. I can't drink or smoke any more. I'm in a hurry to get it over with," she told French newspaper Le Parisien.