Paris: French President Jacques Chirac has set up a new
communications unit to boost his profile in view of a probable
re-election bid in the spring of 2002.
Chirac has appointed Jerome Monod to take care of his image in the wake
of repeated attacks from the Socialist legislative majority in the
National Assembly and from within the ranks of his own Gaullist party,
notably Paris mayor Jean Tiberi.
Monod is the former chairman of Suez-Lyonnaise, the communications group
that controls a number of important French media, including Television
par Satellite and private channel M6.
Monod was effectively ousted from his position last year by current Suez
chairman Gerard Mestrallet.
The day-to-day running of the Chirac press office continues in the hands
of his younger daughter Claude, official spokeswoman Catherine Colonna
and press secretary Agathe Samson.