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France

Sarkozy tests comeback water on Carla Bruni concert tour

media Nicolas Sarkozy signs autographs as he arrives to attend his wife's Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's concert in Lyon, 23 January 2014 Reuters/Robert Pratta

Is former French president Nicolas Sarkozy planning a comeback? His appearance, on Thursday with his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, for the first concert of her tour, drew a roars applause and seems to put him back in the picture for the 2017 presidential elections.

Arriving two hours before his wife's concert in the central French city of Lyon, a smiling Sarkozy shook hands with supporters and signed autographs.

Some fans even screamed "Come back Nicolas!" and waved a banner bearing his campaign slogan from the unsuccessful 2012 election campaign "La France forte" (Strong France).

Nicolas Sarkozy shakes hands with supporters at his wife's concert in Lyon Reuters/Robert Pratta

French political gossip says  that Sarkozy is testing his popularity by accompanying his wife on her tour, which will take her to a number of French towns and cities before she jets on to Vienna, Berlin and New York.

On Thursday night Sarkozy also met the right-wing UMP party's candidate for mayor of Lyon, Michel Havard, in March's local council elections before attending Carla's concert.

On Wednesday France’s 80-year-old former first lady, Bernadette Chirac, let slip that  Sarkozy could make a political comeback, as the former president reactivated an Instagram account to post a photograph of himself.

"I hope so,” she told Europe 1 radio, adding that he was the only right-winger with the stature for the post.

Former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy leaves her concert, followed by her husband, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Reuters/Robert Pratta

Since his defeat in the 2012 elections, Sarkozy has made sure he wasn't forgotten by the French people, organising regular appearances at Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s concerts.

Last week he offered support to the flood-hit Var region.

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