''A chapter is closing for me,'' said Sarkozy, who was quoted on the paper's site by one of the officials who attended the meeting. ''I will not stand at the parliamentary elections, nor in future elections. Don't worry, I will renew my UMP membership and pay my membership fee. But I will no longer be active''.
Amid the leaden atmosphere that followed, one minister is said to have asked one of Sarkozy's most trusted aides: ''Does that mean he's leaving for good?''. The response was a firm one: ''Yes, clearly, haven't you understood that yet?''. (ANSAmed).