Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

France

Sarkozy sidelines opposition with huge investment plan

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-06-27

While the opposition socialists gear up for their crucial primaries, French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday outlined his “big loan” programme to invest in education, research and nuclear power.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled on Monday the details of an ambitious investment programme, while all eyes were on the opposition Socialists as they entered a key phase in choosing their next presidential candidate.

The 35-billion-euro “big loan” investment programme was launched in 2009 as a stimulus package to foster innovation and excellence in education and industry. The budget will be raised from government borrowing, as well as from repayments from the banks that were bailed out at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

“This country has never made such a huge effort to invest in its future,” he told a widely broadcast press conference at the Elysée presidential palace. “This is the only way that France will avoid the pressures of globalisation.”

Sarkozy’s review of the project came a day before Socialist Party (PS) leader Martine Aubry was due to declare her intention to run in party primaries in October. Aubry had not been expected to run until PS favourite Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested for attempted rape in May.

She now joins PS front-runner François Hollande (among others) in the race for the party nomination. Recent opinion polls put both Hollande and Aubry comfortably ahead of Sarkozy in the first round of a presidential vote.

Sarkozy’s political comeback?

Jean-Yves Camus, a political analyst and researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) think tank, said there was certainly no coincidence that the announcement came as the PS entered its most crucial pre-election phase.

But by setting out a massive investment programme, Camus added, Sarkozy was not only stealing the limelight but also laying the foundations for a political comeback.

“Sarkozy has a lot of time to fight back and emerge as a real presidential candidate,” Camus told FRANCE 24. “The French want a candidate who has a real vision for the future of the country, and here he is delivering it. And by starting a long term project now, when it comes to the elections he will argue that the programme is his vision and that it must be continued with him as president, while pointing out that the PS has no such investment strategy planned for the country’s future.”

The PS primaries, in which every French citizen is entitled to vote, will take place in October. Thereby, the party hopes, a genuinely popular leader will be named, around whom it can rally.

Date created : 2011-06-27

  • FRANCE

    Chirac 'joke' makes political establishment squirm

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Sarkozy's UMP seeks to discredit socialist primaries

    Read more

  • USA

    Strauss-Kahn pleads 'not guilty' in sex crime case

    Read more

COMMENT(S)