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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has spoken on national television to defend himself against allegations of illegal campaign financing.
Sarkozy says the allegations were timed to attack his conservative government as it prepares to launch a difficult reform to raise France's retirement age from 60 to 62.
The President says unproven allegations that he illegally financed his 2007 election campaign are "slander" and a way to discredit his government.
Sarkozy has also confirmed a cabinet reshuffle will take place in October. It comes after this illegal financing controversy and a series of other ministerial scandals engulfing his government.
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