Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sarkozy Defines Himself (Again)

In a previous post, Nicolas Sarkozy defined his policy as one where "rupture is the plan, compromise is the method". Today he reiterated this catch-all subterfuge, which barely hides the fact that he is only concerned with getting elected, in this article from French Yahoo.

The day after Jacques Chirac and his government withdrew the CPE (first job contract), Nicolas Sarkozy presented himself as a man of compromise and once again insisted on his own uniqueness.

"There was no other solution but to remove the CPE and to put an end to two months of social and educational crisis", declared the leader of the UMP party to Europe I, making no attempt to hide his intention to seek the presidency in 2007.

Both on Europe I and in a long interview with the Figaro, Nicolas Sarkozy, who often appears as Dominique de Villepin's rival, said he supported the Prime Minister whose "courage" and "fine effort" he applauded.

"It's been a while since I've been in such agreement with the policy of the President of the Republic", noted the Interior Minister, whose difficult relations with Jacques Chirac over the last ten years are well-known.

Nonetheless he reaffirmed that support "does not mean total agreement on everything, or holding back one's opinions, or masking one's convictions. I support him, and at the same time I insist on remaining independent"...

"Courage is not just tenacity without understanding", he said on Europe I. "To govern is not just a question of listening to no one."

He stated that he realized "early on" that it would be necessary to withdraw the CPE, even while the Prime Minister refused to consider such a move.

"When I saw that the CGC(1) held the same position as the CGT(2), I said to myself that, at bottom, it was we who had made an error, an error of substance and an error of method", he explained. To admit to an error and its consequences is not, in my opinion, an admission of weakness."

"Compromise is not a dirty word", added the Interior Minister. "All of this has been a test, a crisis. We have suffered a failure...and a failure quickly produces consequences."

Nicolas Sarkozy was eager to extend a hand to the unions who, along with the students, have led the rebellion against this CPE, a contract reserved for those under 26, and for a trial period of two years.

"I don't consider our socialist partners as adversaries, as enemies, as plotters. I see them as indispensable partners", declared the leader of UMP...

"I don't see France as being immobile, or the French as resistant to change. The French accept change but want to be assured every step of the way that the change is fair."

He said he wanted this change to include increased security for the French people.

"I'm a person who wants to be constructive", added Sarkozy, before alluding directly to the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2007. "Successive governments have, in the past, been very disappointing...I feel we have to run our politics differently".

(1) CGC is General Confederation of Managers (Confederation Générale des Cadres)
(2) CGT is General Confederation of Labor (Confederation Générale du Travail)


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