Sarkozy - wrong and right

By Stephen Pollard
May 3, 2007

For all that Sarkozy is clearly the only sensible candidate, there's much on which he is worryingly wrong. My CNE colleague Jacob Arfwedson had a fascinating piece in the Wall Street Journal Europe on the real Sarkozy. Here's an extract:

French presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy is often portrayed in the foreign press as a maverick who advocates market reforms and pro-American positions. Yet a month before the first round of elections, his rhetoric smacks ominously of traditional Gaullist and statist ideology.

His campaign speeches have become diatribes against capitalism and global free trade, and his constant calls for interventionism bode ill for France should he reach the ultimate pinnacle. In a March 6 speech in the Parisian suburb of Cormeilles, for instance, he used the word "state" more than 70 times and the verb "protect" more than 40 times in outlining his economic program. When he did talk about issues such as capitalism, innovation or entrepreneurship, it was only in dismissive or disparaging terms.

But there's also a lot on which he is refreshingly right, especially for a French politico. This piece in yesterday's Jerusalem Post is fascinating, and heartening:

Officials close to Sarkozy stressed that Israel's security is of utmost importance, preceding the establishment of a Palestinian state.

"When there are Kassams and Katyushas being fired into Israel, where is the problem in defending yourself?" one official said. "Israel cannot compromise its security, otherwise it will be the civilian population that will suffer."

The official argued that Israel's West Bank barrier, even when it cuts through Palestinian territory, falls under the jurisdiction of security. "When there is peace, the route will be reworked," he said. "For now, it is disputed territory. First, let Israel and the Palestinians reach a peace agreement, and then, once there is a deliberate step toward peace by the Palestinians, the details can be worked out."


You must be logged in to post a comment.