It is true that Nicolas Sarkozy lost the French presidential election mainly due to a wave of anger over his austerity measures and a growing sense of inequality in France, but the impact that his anti-immigration rhetoric and personal lifestyle had in the election should not be underestimated.
Even according to European standards, Sarkozy’s personal life was not normal and not even ethical.
On the economy, Sarkozy mostly tilted toward the wealthy. This policy was not compatible with the history of France as one of the main cornerstones of socialism in Europe.
“I don’t know if Hollande will do any better on the economy than Sarkozy, but I want a president who knows the value of justice and sharing,” said Maxime Vissac, 27, a trainee teacher in Paris, according to the Toronto newspaper the National Post.
Sarkozy also seemed arrogant and manic at the beginning of his presidency in 2007.
On the foreign policy front, Sarkozy made France look like a lackey of the United States.
Although under President Jacques Chirac, France strongly opposed U.S. President George W. Bush’s scandalous and ill-fated war against Iraq, Sarkozy always sought a way to appease Washington, especially when Bush was in office.
In the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany), France appeared tougher than the United States. Along with Britain, it spearheaded the European Union plan to embargo Iranian oil. Sarkozy’s foreign minister, Alain Juppe, claimed in early January that “Iran is pursuing the development of its nuclear arms” and should face “stricter sanctions”. All this came despite the fact that France has great economic interests in Iran.
However, at the end of the day, the combination of all the things Nicolas Sarkozy stood for ran contrary to the image the French have of France.
The French have always viewed their country as an important civilization that blazes trails and sets trends.
Charles de Gaulle once said: “France cannot be France without greatness.”
And for many French people, Sarkozy’s kowtowing to George W. Bush grated.
So it appears the French voters decided that France should be France again.
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|Last Updated on 07 May 2012 17:29|