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UMP hopes for debt deadline extension

Party has found just €7m of €11m needed to pay for election campaign, with July 31 deadline approaching

THE UMP is hoping for an extension to pay off its campaign debts of €11m.

They were ordered to pay the sum, the full costs of the 2012 presidential campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy, after they were found to have overspent.

France's Cour des Comptes refused to to ratify their accounts and provide state funding, leaving them to pay back the full loan they took out to finance the campaign.

Party directors have said that bankruptcy is not envisaged if the party fails to find the remaining four million euros over the next two days.

A spokesman said: “The more we get to a close amount, the more likely the extension will be granted.”

Party treasurer Catherine Vautrin told Francetv info : “It's a huge task between now and Wednesday to deposit all the cheques. We're in discussions with the bank to obtain an extension until the end of September.”

The party has been desperately seeking funds via sms, email and other methods for its 'Sarkothon'.

For his part, the former president has already donated €7,500 – the maximum allowed for an individual.

However, news site Mediapart has pointed out that Nicolas Sarkozy is the sole guarantor for the loan taken out by the UMP to finance his campaign – making him responsible to pay the remaining four million euros by Wednesday.

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