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UMP wins debt deadline extension

Party has until the end of September to pay back €11 million loan – but 30% of its MPs have yet to donate

THE opposition UMP party has been granted an extension to pay back its €11m debt.

The party managed to raise €8.3 million by the initial deadline of July 31, but has now been given until the end of September to stump up the remainder.

Nicolas Sarkozy, whose campaign overspend got the party into the financial catastrophe, has written to donors thanking them for their support.

A court refused to ratify the UMP’s accounts for Sarkozy’s election campaign. As the party had spent more than agreed limits it forfeited its right to state funding and was faced with paying the full cost of the €11m loan it took out for the campaign.

Meanwhile it has emerged that 30% of the parties elected politicians have yet to donate anything.

Party treasurer Catherine Vautrin said they would be making another effort to get donations from the party’s own politicians after admitting that 30% of them had yet to put their hands in their pockets.

Former PM, and UMP leadership candidate (and to some, elected leader), François Fillon has reportedly only given €1,000 while the former president has given the maximum personal allowance of €7,500.

The Sarko-thon funding appeal has caused some bitterness among the ranks.

Le Monde quotes a UMP MP as saying: “This exercise of Nicolas Sarkozy is overblown. He has, for the least, managed the campaign lightly. He dumped us, then he came back to play the saviour with €7,500 while giving lessons on good conduct to Fillon and Copé. It’s an operation of bare-faced cheek for which he’s donned the costume of the victim and played out solidarity. In short, he’s taking the piss.”

Photo: Moritz Hager

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