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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sarko shows his true colours (or does he?)

Just in case anyone is still under the illusion that Nicolas Sarkozy is some sort of free-market crusader preparing to drag France (and the EU) into the modern world, take a look at his speech this week in Cormeilles-en-Parisis.

It’s too long to translate in full but it's worth noting that he used the word ‘Etat’ meaning ‘State’ 84 times, and the word ‘protect’ 53 times, including 10 different instances of “I want to protect” and 4 of “Europe must protect”.

A few snippets:

“If there was a time when there was too much policy and too much State, today it is the opposite: there is not enough policy and not enough State…

I do not believe in the doctrine of a minimalist state. I do not believe in the doctrine of laissez-faire. I do not believe that in France the State should be reduced to a secondary role… I do not think the nation can continue to exist without a strong State…

If Europe and globalisation are synonymous with dumping and unfair competition for too long and on too big a scale, there will soon be no more Europe, nor free trade…

If our economy, if our jobs, if our businesses, if our technology remain at the mercy of the predators of the whole world then the situation will quickly become unbearable…

Europe must protect, and for that reason I will propose to our partners if I am elected that the policy of over-evaluation of the euro, which is at the moment exacerbating all the problems at Airbus and accelerating the de-industrialisation of Europe, is abandoned. I want the currency to be at the service of jobs and growth… Europe needs a real economic government…

Europe must protect and for that reason I will propose to our partners that we establish a community preference which allows us to face up to unfair competition and confront dumping. Europe… must contribute to the moralisation of financial capitalism. If I am elected, I will propose that moralisation of financial capitalism be one of the main objectives of the eurozone…. I will propose to our partners that in no case must European aid be used to finance fiscal dumping between member states…

But then after all that he announced:

I refute l’├ętatisme and le dirigisme. I believe that the State is not authorised to get involved in everything, to intervene everywhere.”

We're just as confused as you are...

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