Eric Cantona stunned fans across the World this morning with the relevation that he would be launching a bid for the French presidency. However, it has been revealed that it was a publicity stunt intended to draw more awareness on the French housing crisis.
Cantona’s gesture was revealed to be the latest in a string of highly effective publicity coups to raise awareness of the plight of poor people in France. Cantona’s letter to local politicians was in fact a call for them to sign a petition on the French housing crisis for the leading charity, the Abbé Pierre Foundation.
“He isn’t looking for signatures to be a candidate for the presidency, but to pass on the message of the Abbé Pierre foundation in support of better housing policy, and to make housing, which is a priority for French people, a priority for the presidential candidates,” Libération’s deputy editor, Paul Quinio, told the I-Tele news channel.
“I’m a committed citizen,” Cantona wrote in his appeal to mayors. “This engagement obliges me to speak up, more seriously than usual, but also with a keen sense of my responsibility, at a time when our country is faced with difficult choices.”
He added that getting the 500 mayors to sign up to his message on housing and poverty “would allow me to send a simple but clear message: a message of truth and respect”.