In a special appearance on state television, Nicolas Sarkozy has spoken out on the scandal involving his Budget Minister and doubts about the legality of funds used for his presidential campaign in 2007. Paris based economic daily La Tribune, which describes the interview “as a mine clearance exercise,” reports that the politically weakened head of state is hoping “to distance himself from allegations so that he can give priority to initiatives to reform the state pension system and revive the French economy.”