PARIS (AP) — French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy gave birth to a baby girl on Wednesday night — the first infant born to a sitting president of modern-day France, the French media reported.
President Nicolas Sarkozy, finishing up a meeting in Frankfurt on the euro debt crisis, was absent when the couple's first child was born shortly before 8 p.m. (1800 GMT), according to BFM TV. He reportedly arrived at the small, private Muette Clinic about 11 p.m. (0900 GMT) — his third trip Wednesday to the facility.
Europe 1 radio said the birth "went well" for the 43-year-old mother, a singer and former supermodel. She entered the medical facility in western Paris in the morning accompanied by Sarkozy, according to the reports.
There was no official confirmation of the birth. The presidential entourage reiterated earlier Wednesday that no birth announcement would be forthcoming.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (right) leaves a clinic, Wednesday Oct.19, 2011 in Paris, and where his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is reportedly expected to give birth. (AP)
The couple had been coy about the impending birth from the start, with measured doses of information.
"It's obviously a happy event," Nadine Morano, a junior minister and friend of the president, told BFM, clearly reacting to the news reports. Sarkozy was "very attentive, full of attention toward Carlo" when he spoke with her by phone on Tuesday during a flight with the minister to Nice, she said.
The couple married in February 2008, less than a year after Sarkozy took office iand less than four months after his divorce from second wife Cecilia Ciganer-Albeniz.
The Italian-born first lady has a 10-year-old son from a previous relationship and the president has three sons from his two previous marriages — and is a grandfather since January.
Sarkozy was seen entering the medical clinic in late afternoon, then leaving about 30 minutes later — before rushing off to Frankfurt for a meeting on the euro debt crisis ahead of a European summit on Sunday. With a scheduled visit Thursday morning to Normandy, Sarkozy was taking a gamble. It was not immediately clear whether he would cancel his visit to Normandy.
The birth ended sometimes breathless speculation about Bruni-Sarkozy's due date. Photographers staked out the clinic since early October, with a security detail limiting their access.
Bruni-Sarkozy has said that she was staying mum about the event because she's superstitious. The couple also decided not to find out the baby's sex in advance.
"You don't have a child for the gallery," Bruni-Sarkozy told French TV network TF1 earlier this month. "I will do everything to protect this child ... I will not show photos of this child, I will never expose this child."
While a newborn surely offers new personal horizons for the presidential couple, the question is whether a baby will bolster the sympathy quotient for the perpetually unpopular Sarkozy, especially if the infant remains in the shadows.
Sarkozy is expected to seek a second mandate in presidential elections six months away. However, recent polls put his chief rival, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande, in the lead.
佛 영부인 브루니, 딸 출산
니콜라 사르코지 프랑스 대통령의 부인 카를라 브루니 (43) 여사가 19일(현지시간) 딸을 출산했다.
브루니 여사의 지인과 현지 언론에 따르면 브루니 여사는 이날 오후 8시께 파리 16구에 위치한 '라 뮈에트' 병원에서 딸을 낳았다.
유로존 문제 논의를 위해 독일 프랑크푸르트에 머물고 있던 사르코지 대통령도 브루니 여사의 출산 소식을 듣고 오후 11시께 프랑스로 급히 귀국했다.
익명을 요구한 소식통은 "브루니 여사가 순산했으며, 딸의 이름은 아직 모른다"고 밝혔다.
이날 태어난 딸은 두 사람 사이에서 출생한 첫 번째 자녀다.
사르코지 대통령은 전 부인 사이에서 세 자녀를 두고 있으며, 브루니 여사도 사르코지 대통령과 결혼 당시 10살짜리 아들이 있었다.
프랑스에서 현직 대통령이 재임 기간에 자녀를 얻은 것도 처음 있는 일이다.
라 뮈에트 병원 직원들은 브루니 여사의 출산과 관련된 정보를 일절 함구하고 있으나, 병원 주변에는 수많은 취재진이 몰려들었다.
한편, 브루니 여사의 출산은 지지율 하락으로 고전을 면치 못하는 사르코지 대통령에게 호재가 될 것이라는 분석이 나온다.
그러나 사르코지 대통령의 지지율이 현재 제1야당 사회당의 대선 후보인 프랑수아 올랑드 전 대표보다 한참 뒤처졌을뿐만 아니라, 딸 출산에 따른 지지율 상승효과가 일시적일 것이라는 비관적인 전망도 있다.
프랑스 대통령실은 아직 브루니 여사의 출산에 대한 공식적인 발표를 하지 않은 상태다.