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Face-off

A 'Catholic' president? French conservative Fillon breaks with secularism

"I am a Gaullist and I am a Christian". This is how the conservative candidate for France's presidential election, François Fillon, defines himself. By wearing his religion on his sleeve, the favourite for next May's election is entering uncharted territory for the deeply secular French political class. Also on the agenda this week: the first of three debates between the candidates for the Socialist primary which will designate their presidential hopeful.

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Prepared by Agnès le Cossec and Hanane Saïdani

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