Skip to comments.Sarkozy pulls no punches in campaign attack on '68ers' (France)
Posted on 09/04/2006 4:45:08 PM PDT by shrinkermd
MARSEILLE, France, Sept 3, 2006 (AFP) - French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy appeared almost certain to lead the right into next year's presidential election, after a triumphant party congress which concluded Sunday in Marseille with a blistering attack on the "generation of May 1968".
Speaking before 7,000 young members of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), Sarkozy, 51, said modern France had been betrayed by the left-wing ideals that took root after the 1968 student uprising, and called for a society built around "a reassertion of the value of work".
"(The generation of 1968) inculcated everywhere in politics, in education, in society an inversion of values and a political correctness of which today's young people are the principal victims," Sarkozy said to applause.
"The truth is that the students of May '68 were the spoiled children of 30 years of prosperity. You are the children of crisis. They lived a life without constraints. Today you are picking up the bill," he said.
The minister who is also president of the UMP was speaking at the end of a three-day post-summer "university" which is the last major gathering of party faithful before a congress in January which will designate the right's candidate for presidential elections in April.
Royal and Sarkozy neck-and-neck in race: poll
The Socialists: ready to rumble
Hallyday supports presidential hopeful Sarkozy
An opinion poll Sunday reinforced Sarkozy's massive lead over possible rivals within the UMP, indicating that 45 percent of the public want him as party candidate compared to just eight percent for his closest contender, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.
President Jacques Chirac, who has refused to rule out running for an unprecedented third term, had the support of just three percent in the survey in Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper, behind Employment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo and Defence Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie.
The nominee will lead the UMP into a two-round election, in which the principal opponent will be a Socialist party (PS) candidate to be chosen by a vote of party members in November.
Front-runner to win the PS candidacy is the head of the Poitou-Charentes regional council Ségolène Royal, 52 an elegant newcomer to the top tier of French politics, but a woman whom polls show to be the only left-winger who could beat Sarkozy next year.
However Royal faces opposition from inside her party, many of whose leading figures accuse her of building a campaign based on image rather than ideas. Former PS minister Martine Aubry said on Friday that the test of a president was "not whether or not you have good measurements".
Sarkozy drew the strongest applause Sunday when he attacked the "dependency and welfare" culture epitomised by the Socialists' 35-hour week, and promised to bring unemployment down to five percent in five years by "giving work back its true value, because it is work that creates work"....
I propose reducing taxes on labour, so that employment plays a greater part in economic growth. I propose that people should earn more if they work more ... I propose replacing the language of redistribution with the language of growth," he said...
Change in France will eventually result in changes in foreign policy as well.
Viva la 30 hour work week!!!
America suffered from the exact same folks that Sarkozy describes.
And in 1968, too - the year of that ludicrous circus better known as the Democratic Party Convention.
Yes, he dares to speak the Truth. Good for him. It is exactly the problem. And that stinking thinking that goes with it -- PC stuff, hedonism, anti-authoritarianism.
Give credit to Sarkozy for deftly out-manouevering DeVillepin who was Chirac's hand picked successor.
While I believe that foreign policy will move slightly toward greater cross-Atlantic co-operation, Sarkozy will have the same problems his predecessors have had in attempting to "roll back" Socialist labor laws. Communist thugs in the public unions control transportation in France and can bring (and have brought) France to its knees. I was in France in '95 when strikes forced close to 100,000 small businesses to close.
Thatcher broke the death grip that militant labor held on the UK economy. Let's hope Sarkozy will do the same.
Sarkozy is good for France as well as the greater "West."
Sounds like Ronald Reagan! Good luck to him.
And therein lies the problem with France. If Thatcher and Reagan had never existed, Sarkozy might have a chance to reform the labor laws.
As it is, any attempt to apply an "Anglo-Saxon" model, or even to be seen as supporting anything like a Thatcher/Reaganite revolution will meet with immediate rioting in the streets (and not by the muzzies, by the CGT and other openly communist unions).
Perhaps. But why the GDP per capita in France and UK is almost the same?
Good speech but we shall see where it leads.
LePen ended up in second place last election and even got 21 percent of the vote in the face of all out campaign to support Chirac.
A big chunk of public opinion is for that kind of message in France but do they understand that France must change or go further down the tubes economically.
I was a student in France in 92. I shipped a crate of stuff to myself from the USA, and thanks to a dockworkers strike, it arrived 5 months later, a week before I was to leave.
We moved over in '91 and deliberately had our stuff shipped to Le Havre rather than Marseilles because of that possiblity (not to mention just flat out having our stuff stolen) despite the fact that we were moving to Nice (about 90 minutes from Marseilles and a 12 hour drive from Le Havre).
Whatever Sarkozy's intentions, whatever majority sends him into office, whatever mandate he can claim, he will still have to deal with organized opposition that can put a million people in the streets. That's the real problem here. If he can break a general strike then there's hope for economic reform, but if an alliance of socialist unions and university brats shuts the country down his good intentions will fail.
If aging Rocker/Elvis impersonator, Johnny Hallyday is supporting Sarko, the world will follow.
Sarko is an excellent candidate, very pro-free market, pro American, who has a vision of France as a working society, not a society of free loaders.
Taking on the 68ists in the current atmosphere takes a lot of courage, as does taking on the Islamic immigrants.
Sarkozy is everything that Chirac isn't. And Chirac doesn't like him and is intimidated by his popularity.
Sounds like the French version of what David Horowitz dubbed "the destructive generation."
I spent the spring semester in Aix - not far from you (Marseille was where my stuff got hung up.)
Will Sarkozy also take on the 69-ers?
>>And during her rule it [GDP per capita] got LOWER in UK?
The UK was shouldering its share of the burden in opposing the Soviets. The French were not.
And I'm not at all sure the data shows what you claim. France's per capita GDP was more than Britains at the beginning and the end of her era, but it was a great delta in favor of the French at the beginning, than at the end.
Lotta Brit ex-pats in Aix.
After 13 years on the "Cote d'Azur" I will NEVER again be attracted to a "tourist destination" in my life.
The locals are obnoxious and anti-tourist (as who wouldn't be) and the tourists are even worse.
Whenever I see a "travel spread" in a magazine or newspaper I cross the destination off my list of places I will ever visit...
I left France in 2003, but I never saw the sort of latent discontent that preceded Thatcher's revolution in Britain.
The frogs are too content with their socialist system and "anti-Anglo-Saxon third way" (regardless of how bad it is for the future) to support any real reforms.
The French are also cowards (I have experienced it first hand) and will cave to whichever union causes the most pain to the economy.
Sarkozy will have very limited room to manouever. And don't forget that under the constitution of the V Republic, the President has very little domestic power. He can cajole, but it's the PM who controls legislation.
"(The generation of 1968) inculcated everywhere in politics, in education, in society an inversion of values and a political correctness of which today's young people are the principal victims," Sarkozy said to applause."
IF HE WINS, HE WILL BE THE THATCHER/REAGAN OF FRANCE.
France missed out on the reassertion of Conservative values and economic policies in the 1980s, which is why they are so screwed up now.
Maybe he can lead them back to sanite'.
A. Pole , your links shows your statement is wrong.
Per capita income in UK rose from 1979 to 1990, the time Maggie Thatcher was in office.
The fact remains that UK's economy is a freer economy, they were slightly behind France in 1979 and now they are slightly ahead.
What hope does France have, then?
France has serious problems in so many areas. They need a change badly.
Wrong. French and UK military spending are comparable.
SIPRI numbers for the late 80s and early 90s show a significantly higher spending rate, as a percentage of GDP, for the UK.
"(The generation of 1968) inculcated everywhere in politics, in education, in society an inversion of values and a political correctness of which today's young people are the principal victims," Sarkozy said to applause.He can say that again, and again, and again...HALLELUJAH!
What? The far left are the most authoritarian people on the planet! They are, in fact, TOTALITARIAN in their views. The only rebel against authorities who are opposing their totalitarian ideal.
Everyone born after our '68' generation here in America (baby boomers as we call them), who are approximately 40 and younger right now, need to listen to Sarkozy's words and take them to heart.
There may be hope for France yet.