January 14, 2007

WHAT DOES FRANCE HAVE THAT'S WORTH CONSERVING?:

Nominated, Sarkozy stresses values of 'republican right': In bold speech, presidential candidate sets vision for France (Elaine Sciolino, January 14, 2007, NY Times)

[H]is core message seemed aimed at wooing France's right-wing voters rather than those in the center or on the left who potentially could support his main rival, the Socialist party candidate, Ségolène Royal.

"My values are yours, those of the republican right," Sarkozy said. "These are the values of fairness, order, merit, work, responsibility. I accept them. But in these values in which I believe, there is also movement. I am not a conservative. I do not want an immobile France. I want innovation, creativity, the struggle against injustices."

Despite the French republican ideal that ignores religious and ethnic differences, for example, Sarkozy broke with tradition by referring to the French as the "heirs of 2000 years of Christianity."

He said that Turkey "does not have its place" as a member of the European Union.

In a veiled reference to those Muslims and immigrants who resist the French model of integration, he said it was unacceptable to "want to live in France without respecting and loving France," and learning the French language. He added, "If you live in France then you respect the laws and values of the Republic."

He said that as president he would enforce French laws against polygamy and female circumcision.

He characterized France's generous social services safety net as in crisis because people do not work long and hard enough. "The problem is that France works less when others work more," he said, adding, "You have to love labor and not hate it."


Posted by Orrin Judd at January 14, 2007 9:35 PM
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