Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sarkozy to France: You suck and learn english.

EU: If Sarkozy is going to win the presidency next year I don't if being this honest about the problems of France is a good way to win people over. But it makes for a good read.

THE French need to work harder and display less arrogance, if they are to recapture former glories, Nicolas Sarkozy, the Interior Minister, tells his countrymen in a highly personal 281-page book published yesterday. Just as they embark on their long summer break, he has a blunt message for them: the holiday is over. In an account that may make for uncomfortable reading on the beaches, M Sarkozy demands effort, reform and an end to the Gallic habit of delivering lessons to the rest of the world. ....But the personal confessions that run through Témoignage accompany a tough political message on the cardinal value of work, a value that he says the French have abandoned in favour of such measures as the 35-hour working week. Hailing modern Britain as an example, M Sarkozy urges voters to remove their heads from the sand, accept that France is in decline and embrace the market economy as the path to revival. His argument represents an electoral gamble in a country that has repeatedly voted in favour of generous welfare payments and extensive leisure time — and which will be invited by the Socialist Party to do the same again in the presidential election next spring. “I believe that deep in French society there is a strong demand for the restoration of certain values of the Republican right: work, respect for authority, the family, individual responsibility,” he says. Although he denies personal animosity for his rival, President Chirac, he makes no attempt to hide their fundamental political differences. He criticises almost every significant decision that M Chirac has taken, including the threat to veto a UN resolution on the war in Iraq and approval of Turkey’s entry into the EU. And in a comment that will infuriate traditionalists, he says that the French should no longer insist on speaking their own language in international negotiations and instead should use English.
This last part captures the essence of what happens to a socialist society.
IN HIS OWN WORDS “We should ask ourselves why the English buy our houses in the Dordogne, in the Périgord ... and in many other regions. The answer is simply because the British GDP is 10 per cent greater than the French and that the standard of life of the British is higher than that of the French” “We have committed the immense error of undermining work. When someone who works does not have a better life than someone who does not work, why should he get up in the morning?”

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