President Nicolas Sarkozy, hurt at being compared to France's collaborationist World War Two leaders because of his policy of expelling Roms (gypsies) from French territory, threw a giant open-air party for France's gypsies on Wednesday night.
The party, held at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, attracted 2.5 million Roms. Some of them had flown to Paris for free on planes which had been chartered by their host countries - Belgium, Spain, Holland, Germany, Italy and so on - with the understanding that they were not to return ever.
Monsieur Sarkozy and his wife Carlita Mon Amour, both dressed as gypsies, hosted the open-air party.
While the Rom men grilled tons of spareribs, rabbit, hare and poultry, all of it gifts from France's farmers and butchers, their womenfolk read the lines on the hands of Parisians and tourists.
The hundreds of thousands of Rom children meanwhile dropped gold coins into the pockets of the onlookers.
As one of the Rom leaders explained to the media: "The French are accusing our children of being street and subway pickpockets. Tonight we will show them that when our youngsters crowd around someone it is to put money into that person's pocket and not to take money from it."
Both the president and the first lady also had the lines on their hands read.
Asked by our reporter what the Rom women had told her about her future, Carlita Mon Amour said that they had predicted that she would finally master the art of signing and acting.
"They said that this will happen in October 2022," she said.
The President, wiping away tears of happiness, said that the women had told him that he would finally master the art of governing a country. The women had not however given him a date or year when that would happen.
"Iz good all the same," he said.
At the end of the party each Rom was handed three gifts. The gifts were distributed by police from the elite CRS (riot control) unit and were dressed in tutus (no underpants or shoes)to show that they had come in peace and were not carrying guns.
One gift was a free one-way ticket on a chartered plane back to Romania.
The second was free transport in a railroad cattle car to Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport.
The third gift was a free tattoo of a number on the inside of the left wrist.
"Tattooing is expensive as any tattoo enthusiast will tell you, so President Sarkozy giving each Rom man, woman and child a free tattoo will forever remind them of how welcome they had been in our country," a CRS spokesperson said.
Within hours of the party having ended, the French media began to hail it as a great success: France had become Rom-free.
Paris shopkeepers however regretted the departure of the Roms.
One Avenue des Champs-Elysées' shopkeeper explained to our reporter that with no Roms hanging around on the avenue, tourists would no longer rush into his souvenir shop to get out of their way.
"At least 100 tourists used to rush in here daily to get away from a begging gypsy and our policy was to insist that they buy something - even if only a 1 Euro postcard - in payment of the safety we were offering them. We will now lose that money."