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In the news, talking about Sarkozy, I heard:

Et bien d’abord pour Nicolas Sarkozy, C’est un coup dur, sa troisième mise en examen. L’ancien président est renvoyé à ses affaires, lui qui se glissait depuis quelques temps dans la peau du vieux sage à droite.

What does that bolded portion mean?

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Affaires means (court) cases here.

Sarkozy is "sent back" / "returned" to his various cases, i.e. he is kind of expelled from the "old wise man" position he was slightly reaching to a much more unconfortable one where he has to defend himself against various charges.

Here are similar French idioms, often used figuratively :

  • renvoyé à ses (chères) études : dismissed, sent back to school

  • renvoyé dans ses foyers : demobilized, sent back home

  • renvoyé dans ses cordes : sent on the ropes (like in a boxing ring)

  • renvoyé dans ses buts : sent back to his goal line/posts (soccer), sent packing

  • renvoyé à ses démons : sent back to his personal demons

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