With four months to go to the regional elections in France, the French President is to visit three suburbs to the north of Paris today in order to highlight the main themes of the election campaign: security and immigration.
In 2005 as Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy famously promised to “sanitise” the suburbs and “clear out the scum” while on a visit to Argenteuil, north of Paris. He has always maintained that he was simply repeating the words of an angry resident but it created a massive backlash against Sarkozy in poor suburbs with large minority populations.
Since being elected, the President has only visited these ‘quartiers chauds’ on a handful of occasions. In July, Henri Guaino, one of Sarkozy’s chief advisors, was pelted with stones when he tagged along on a police patrol in Seine-Saint-Denis.
Le Parisien leads this morning with Sarkozy’s visit to three neighbourhoods in the Seine-Saint-Denis département to the north of Paris. The paper speculates that this is all part of the UMP Party drive to highlight its key themes of immigration and security in advance of regional elections in four months time.
Socialist representatives in Seine-Seine-Denis are only too happy to point out that juvenile delinquacy figures are on the rise, despite all the tough talk from the centre-right government.
Other stories in today’s French papers:
How French do the French feel? A poll carried out by TNS-Sofres and La Croix tells us.
A report from Gaza’s zoo where resources are so scarce that donkeys have been painted in stripes to resemble zebras!
Is 21st century man still able to hibernate?