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May 9, 2007

Sarkozy's Message: France Has Chosen Change And 'France Is Back'

Topics: International News

In a nutshell, French president-elect Nicolas Sarkozy's message is simple: France is back.

In the speech given minutes after he was officially elected president of France, on May 6,2007, on the stage of the Gaveau Theater, where he came to thank his supporters, Nicolas Sarkozy made it clear that he believes French voters have asked for change, and apparently he intends to do his best to give them what he believes they asked for. Key excerpts that caught my attention include:

... As I speak to you tonight, in a moment that is, you will understand, unique in the life of a man, I feel an immense, sincere and profound emotion. Since my youngest age, I have felt an inexpressible pride to belong to a great, old, beautiful nation: France. I love France as I would love a cherished person who has given me everything, and now, it's my turn to give back to France what France has given me..

... the people of France have expressed their will. They have chosen to break away from the habits, the attitudes and behaviors of the past. I am therefore going to rehabilitate authority, morality, respect. I want to rehabilitate the nation, national identity, I want to give back to the French people their pride in France. I am going to put an end to repentance, which is a form of self-hate, and to the competition between [historical] heritages* which fuels hatred among people.

... The people of France have chosen change. I'll enact this will to change because it is the mandate I've received from the people, and because France needs it. But I'll do it with all French people. I'll do it in a spirit of union and fraternity. I'll do it without giving anyone the feeling he is excluded, abandoned. I'll do it so that everyone can find their place in our republic, so that everyone feels taken into account and feels respected in one's dignity as a citizen and as a human being. Those who have been hurt by life, those who have been worn out by life, must know that they will not be abandoned, that they will be helped, that they will be looked after. Those who are under the impression that, whatever they do, they cannot succeed, can rest assured that they will not be discarded and that they will enjoy the same opportunities as others.

... I am calling all French citizen, whatever their political affiliation, their religion and origins, to unite with me so that France can move forward. I am asking them not to get trapped in intolerance and sectarianism, but to open themselves to others, to those who have different opinions, to those who have different convictions.

... I want to call on all Africans, a fraternal call, and tell Africa that we want to help them fight illnesses, famine, poverty and to live in peace. I want to tell them that we will decide together on a monitored immigration policy and on an ambitious development policy.

I want to call on all those who, throughout the world, believe in tolerance, freedom, democracy, humanism, on those who are persecuted by tyrants and dictators. I want to say to all the children throughout the world, and to all martyred women in the world, that France's duty and pride will be to be by their side.

... France will be at the side of the Libyan (sic: Bulgarian) nurses, locked up for the past eight years [in Libya]; France will not abandon Ingrid Betancourt [held hostage by FARC insurgents in Columbia], France will not abandon women condemned to wear a full burqa, France will not abandon women who are deprived of freedom. France will be on the side of the oppressed of the world. It's the message of France, it is the identity of France, it is the history of France.

Interestingly, the sentence, "France will not abandon women condemned to wear a full burqa," was taken out of the transcript of the speech published by President Sarkozy.

Read the rest of the translation here ...

Posted by Richard at May 9, 2007 3:11 PM

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