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Conservatives Defend Sarkozy Son's Bid for Big Job

President Nicolas Sarkozy's 23-year-old son and fellow conservatives are defending his bid for a highly visible job overseeing France's biggest business district.

Critics say Jean Sarkozy, a law student at the Sorbonne, is too inexperienced to become chairman of EPAD. The quasi-governmental agency oversees real estate and other administration in La Defense, a sprawling complex of skyscrapers west of Paris where 150,000 people work.

Jean Sarkozy told the Le Parisien newspaper on Tuesday that whatever he accomplishes, "my legitimacy will always be on trial."

Government spokesman Luc Chatel said on LCI television that leftists were staging a "manhunt" for the president's son. Higher Education Minister Valerie Pecresse called the young man "the natural candidate" for the post even though he has no college degree yet.