Sarkozy's new "pet" - karate black belt female minister of 'birds, flowers'

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London, July 19 (ANI): Chantal Jouanno, Nicolas Sarkozy's junior environment minister, is being described in the French press as his latest "pet".

However, the mother-of-three, who is a karate black belt and winner of nine national championships, finds the epithet amusing. She said in a recent interview: "We cannot spend the whole time in government asking if we are loved or not loved. There are much more serious things to worry about."

For instance, the 40-year-old is sad to note the disappearance of the common sparrow from France's gardens. They've all but gone. So have the swallows and swifts. The bees are dying off. Why is it?" she said.

Chantal tells her children that "mummy is minister of birds and flowers", which is reflected in the glass cabinets in her office filled with stuffed seagulls and a sparrow, reports the Times.

Her desire is to make people aware of the threat to common creatures, but complains that "sometimes when I talk biodiversity it is as if I were speaking Chinese for all the response I get".

Sarkozy, however, seems to be affected by the thought and understands its importance. While on a recent trip to Le Havre with Jouanno, he promised the government would shape its marine policy in accordance with "scientific advice" about fish stocks, a dramatic departure from the days when he pledged unconditional support to French fishermen. (ANI)

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