Monday, May 07, 2007

Very good article about what Sarkozy means for France

From Doug Ireland, progressive writer and gay rights advocate(title link)

"A whopping record 82% of French voters went to the polls today to give an unambiguous victory to the autocratic, demagogic, hard-right nationalist Sarkozy, who campaigned on promises of a "rupture" with France's mixed economy and its welfare state, one of the most extensive in Europe.

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And Sarkozy's campaign was marked by incessant appeals to racism and the fear of immigrants, symbolized by his adoption of a slogan used by the neo-fascist leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, "France, love it or leave it," and by his proposal for a new "Ministry of Immigration and National Identity," which was widely criticized by the left and by anti-racist groups for amalgamating the two concepts and suggesting a fundamental opposition between the two.

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Sarko's speech tonight had accents of Petain, when he declared that his election represented "a break with the past," and that he intended "to rehabilitate work, authority, morality, respect and merit.” Another odious moment in Sarkozy's victory peroration came when he proclaimed that France would no longer be a country of "repenting" -- this was a dig at Chirac, who was the first French president to apologize for the crimes committed by the Vichy French state against Jews under the Nazi occupation"

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