FRENCH ELECTIONS 2012

AUDIO: Green candidate Joly on 'xenophobic' election

French Green Party presidential hopeful Eva Joly tells FRANCE 24 that she despairs of the xenophobic tone of the presidential election, while important international issues remain left out of the discourse.

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The tone of the French presidential debate took a decidedly populist turn this week as incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy declared his intention to halve the number of immigrants allowed into the country each year.

Accused of populism and of trying to attract disillusioned voters back from the far-right National Front (FN), Sarkozy's announcement follows a campaign launched in February by the FN's Marine Le Pen against Islamic halal and Jewish kosher butchering practices.

One candidate for May's presidential election, the Green Party's Eva Joly, has spoken out against what she calls "latent xenophobia in the French political discourse".

Joly told FRANCE 24 that the current obsession with foreigners had eclipsed more important international issues.

She said: "We are not talking about Syria, we are not talking about people being killed, we are not talking about Iran. All we are talking about is the halal way of killing cows."

Audio slideshow: Eva Joly

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