Skip to comments.Threat To Sarkozy As Suburbs Prepare To Vote (France)
Posted on 04/08/2007 5:46:14 PM PDT by blam
Threat to Sarkozy as suburbs prepare to vote
By Henry Samuel in Mantes-La-Jolie
Last Updated: 1:11am BST 09/04/2007
Election fever is gripping the Val-Fourre housing estate in Mantes-la-Jolie, west of Paris, often listed as one of the most violent in France.
Like many of the country's most troubled suburbs, locals here, who in the past might have failed to vote out of a sense of marginalisation, have been registering to vote in this month's presidential elections in record numbers.
Since the banlieues - suburbs - exploded into riots in autumn 2005 over the death of two teenagers of immigrant origin chased by police, they have been at the heart of French political debate. Many feel the "ethnic suburban vote" could yet swing the election result.
Four polls published over the weekend showed that the Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal had lost yet more ground to the Right-wing frontrunner Nicolas Sarkozy. One on Sunday gave her just 22 per cent in the first round - her lowest score in six months - with Mr Sarkozy gaining two points in a week, on 29.5 per cent.
The centrist UDF candidate François Bayrou remained in third on 19 per cent, with the far-Right Front National leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, stable on around 14 per cent.
Yet Mr Sarkozy stands to lose the most if the voters of the banlieue turn out in force. The interior minister at the time of the riots, he was criticised for describing the rioting youths as "scum" and taking a hardline approach to policing the areas.
"I will vote for Ségolène to block Sarkozy and because she represents a certain idea of how I see France," said Mr Belhadaoi, 29, a bank security guard of Moroccan origin.
He said Mr Sarkozy had worsened relations between local residents and the police with his repressive measures. "As soon as I take off my suit and tie, I get stopped for identity checks. It's humiliating.
"Everyone works in my family. I have no criminal record. But Mr Sarkozy doesn't refer to people like me. We have to prove that we are good people, it is not presumed."
Mr Sarkozy does have some supporters. Cedric Poirier, who works alongside Mr Belhadaoi, said Mr Sarkozy was right to focus on identity and values and a stronger work ethic.
"When one integrates on a working level, one integrates socially. We live in a culture where profit is a dirty word." Others argued that the French welfare system was too generous and not geared to finding work.
Bernard Kossoko, the co-president of the community radio station Radio Droit de Cité, said: "People expect too much from the state. They are too choosy about jobs. I'm for three strikes and you're out. Perhaps we need Sarkozy for one non-renewable mandate."
The radio's programme director, Saïd Ait-Atman, 31, said there was a lot of interest in Mr Bayrou but that he was unimpressed by Miss Royal. "The Socialists are the first to speak out, but they don't follow through with actions," he said. "People will vote for her here, but only as a tactical vote.
"If Sarkozy is elected there will most likely be trouble in the streets. He spouts on about integration but the vast majority of people here feel integrated and French. Their main concern is just getting a job."
Mr Sarkozy, who is backed by the ruling UMP, has been accused of fishing for far-Right votes by pledging to create a ministry of immigration and national identity.
He is the only leading contender not to have made a campaign visit to the banlieue, for fear of sparking unrest. Even Mr Le Pen has done more, making a surprise trip last Friday to Argenteuil, a suburb where, he mocked, "even our former interior minister does not dare go".
Polls yesterday showed that 42 per cent of voters remain undecided.
Si Se Puede!
That's a given. The question is whether the unions will be willing to join forces with the Muslims - oh, dear, I shouldn't have said the word - in order to neutralize Sarkozy. When the unions have had enough France has had enough. If they haven't we'll see more of the same.
The Telegraph, supposedly a conservative newspaper, is starting to be a stooge for political correctness.
I guess the Times of London is the only conservative paper in London now?
Yep, he sees it as a "Future islamic Republic".
Yeah, like maybe there will be riots that last for months on end with the burning of thousands of cars and stuff like that!
I’ll be sure to have the popcorn ready in the event that he wins. The Yoots will be burning everything in sight.
I don’t think you’ve read much about Sarkozy’s opinion of the United States. He’s actually pretty pro-US.
And I’ll disagree about the benefits of ceding a single inch of European soil to Muslim extremists. Given an inch...
They should make a rule that anyone caught and convicted of rioting gets the boot out of the country.. Oh...silly me.. it’s Wussie France...
Oh, I know about those territories. I still think an authoritarian force in French politics could sweep away some of that, however.
The unions will, as they always do, think about themselves first. Actually, they don’t have a horse in this race. Their only concern is keeping workers (that is to say non-union-dues-paying workers) out of the workforce.
Most will vote Royal, but then they would vote Socialist regardless of the alternative candidate.
just remember the words the esteemed jean-paul sartre in the intro of “the wretched of the earth”
to the effect that the dark-skinned, oppressed people have a right to kill whites.
Let the US Democrats be your guide.
Sarko is not at all the same as Chirac, even though Chirac was elected from the UMP. Sarko and friends staged a political coup and seized control of the party and basically told Chirac he could pack up and leave. ----Which Chirac has done, and is now backing Bayrou.
Sarkozy has repatedly criticized Chirac for his anti-American and anti-Israel attitudes.
"neighborhoods of Paris that the police refuse to enter?" = Watts
Woah !! Mrs. Chirac appeared with the Sark and endorsed him, a gesture of unspoken support by Mr. Chirac.
The French socialists apparently work the same way the American socialists (Democrats) work - - register as many homeless, bums, parasites, losers, and minority “perma-victims” as possible, dead or alive, even if you have to ply them with cheap wine and cigarettes.
I stand corrected, thank you.
In particular, Clinton sent his campaign warroom honchos to UK (elected Blair,1997), and Israel (elected Ehud Barak,1999) to teach them how it's done. I don't think the Toon needed to teach the frogs how to elect socialists.
“Which Chirac has done, and is now backing Bayrou”
Chirac is most certainly not backing Bayrou. He has come out in support of Sarko. Bernadette Chirac has appeared prominently with Sarko at huge rallies. She is a popular figure in France, and as First Lady, represents her husband.
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