France's politicians and literary establishment are embroiled in a heated debate over the outspoken criticism of President Sarkozy voiced by this year's winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt, Marie NDiaye. Government backbencher, Eric Raoult, was so shocked by the content of Ms NDiaye's remarks, which were recorded in an interview last summer before she received the award, that he has requested that the Minister for Culture impose a "protocol clause" on the recipients of literary prizes. In an interview with the magazine Les Inrockuptibles in August 2009, Marie NDiaye explained that her decision to leave France and live in Berlin had mainly been motivated by her aversion to the current French President, and the "hateful atmosphere of police bullying and vulgarity" that has marked his administration. Libération takes the view that "the attempt to impose censorship is indicative of the current political climate in the majority." The daily also quotes writer and government minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, who artfully refuses "to become involved in the ridiculous debate" prompted by his colleague's quixotic campaign.
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