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Ex Spain PM denies being the father

Surprise announcement as rumours fly over identity of father of Rachida Dati's child.

The former prime minister of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar has denied being the father of Justice Minister Rachida Dati's child.

He issued a denial after rumours were published on a Morrocan website.

Dati, 42, has not disclosed the name of the father saying she had a "complicated private life."

"That is the limit I have set myself with regard to the press. I will not say anything on that," she added

She announced her pregnancy after photos of her swelling figure raised speculation.

The minister is the first woman of north-African origin to hold a cabinet position in France.

A host of magazine covers celebrated her against-the-odds success story as the second of 12 children born to a Moroccan labourer and illiterate Algerian mother, hailing her as the new face of France.
   
She has turned out in designer clothes at official events and has posed for the cover of Paris Match magazine.
   
While her demanding management style has been heavily criticised she has received support over her announcement.

Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper said Dati was "an example for single mothers."
   
"The woman who faces maternity alone is no longer an 'unfortunate' who has to hide but a proud woman who retreats from no one," it said.
   
Dati, who had an arranged marriage annulled in her youth, said it was "fundamental" for her to have a child.
   
Around half of all French babies are born out of wedlock, but Dati is the first serving minister to become pregnant while not in a known relationship.
   
In an interview to appear in Le Point magazine Dati said she hopes to remain in post at the Justice Ministry "as long as possible."

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