The next president of France (maybe) Nicolas Sarkozy is also joining in the fun and doing a Baht. Some quotes from his latest speech:

  • the euro's level is "a serious economic error"
  • it's "making European labor expensive and the labor of the rest of the world cheap."
  • "the dollar will have become so cheap that we will have to go and make Airbus in the U.S."
  • it's "pulling wages down"
  • "I won't be the President who allows the Americans a monopoly with an all-conquering dollar."
  • "I want a strong currency supporting a strong economic policy"
  • "We cannot continue to preoccupy ourselves with an inflation which competition has eliminated without concerning ourselves with unemployment, purchasing power and growth."

Of course, canvassing is one thing, governing another: France is still - this has been fact checked - a democracy. That Mr Sarkozy's socialist rival, Mme Royale has a similar position makes it that much more euro-bashingly interesting.

It's all coming to the boil just nicely.

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6 comments

  1. Anonymous // 12/19/2006 04:44:00 PM

    Hmm, am I reading this right. He says the Euro is too strong against the dollar. But he also says he is in favor of a strong currency. I guess he is a politician and therefore doesn't need to make sense.

  2. RJH Adams // 12/19/2006 05:28:00 PM

    Welcome to French politics.

    Mr Sarkozy's "strong currency" comment is a bow to his Gaullist roots rather than a confused contradictory rambling (insofar as any of the comments are not ramblings).

    Here is the story as it appeared on the DJ Newswire:

    CHARLEVILLE-MEZIERES, France (AP)--Interior Minister and presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy has slammed the current high value of the euro as "a serious economic error" and stepped up recent French criticism of the European Central Bank.

    In a speech at Charleville-Mezieres in northeastern France late Tuesday, Sarkozy said an "overvalued" European currency is "making European labor expensive and the labor of the rest of the world cheap."
    "If we carry on like this, we won't be able to manufacture Airbus in Europe," he said. "The dollar will have become so cheap that we will have to go and make Airbus in the U.S."

    Sarkozy added that the strong euro was "penalizing" European industry and "pulling wages down".

    Stepping up his campaign ahead of presidential elections scheduled for April and May next year, the Interior Minister urged "an economic government for the euro zone" - a policy he has advocated in the past.

    "There is not a single country in the world where the currency is not an instrument of economic policy for growth and for employment," said Sarkozy. "I won't be the President who allows the Americans a monopoly with an all-conquering dollar. I want a strong currency supporting a strong economic policy".

    The strong euro is rapidly becoming a key issue ahead of elections in France. Both main candidates in the French presidential race - Sarkozy and Socialist Party hopeful Segolene Royal - have said the ECB's efforts to clamp down on inflation are costing the country economic growth, a stance likely to prove popular among some voters.

    In his speech, Sarkozy, who is head of the UMP, France's main center-right party, also hit out at what he called the European Central Bank's "refusal to discuss".
    "Independence is one thing," he said, "Refusing to discuss is another."

    "We cannot continue to preoccupy ourselves with an inflation which competition has eliminated without concerning ourselves with unemployment, purchasing power and growth," Sarkozy said.

    (END) Dow Jones Newswires
    December 19, 2006 03:34 ET (08:34 GMT)

  3. "Cassandra" // 1/15/2007 06:38:00 PM

    Now that Mr Sarkozy's candidacy is official, I can officially say I think him a weasel, in the most animated gallic political sense of the word. Like the Norwegian Blue I pine for the fjords whereth dwell dry, but decidedly sensible and stoic northern European political breeds. I cannot watch Sarkozy in action without evoking thoughts of the overly-animated passionate, populist that would result from crossing the genetic material of Bruce Springsteen and ummm errr Lou Dobbs!??!?

    If nothing else, Mr Sarkozy's presence will make the upcoming election one of the most colourful and entertaining in Europe, though I give him slim odds of going the distance without a serious inter-galactic gaffe that will yield the result to his more composed Ms Royale. Your odds Mr Adams?

  4. RJH // 1/16/2007 11:49:00 AM

    Happy New year C.

    Well, unlike the parrot Sarkozy is not demised nor bereft of life.

    Which fits well with voter sentiment. Royale knows this is first a contest about style not substance. Which is why she says little that is not stylish and nothing substantive.

    Sarkozy's record, despite the myth, does not fit with his frequently anglo-saxon (in popular French terms) rhetoric. Hence the aptness of "weasel" or perhaps more fairly "professional canvaaser".

    Can Sarkozy leverage his "record" in these "stylistic" circumstances. Surely, for he is a tactician if nothing else.

    Odds? On the gaffe, evens (but smaller ones for Royale). On the result, narrow favourite.

  5. "Cassandra" // 1/17/2007 04:39:00 PM

    Thank you for that, for which I find nothing to fault. My spouse would be pleased to see Mme Royale in charge (they share the same taste in fashion) though I myself would prefer Bernard Kouchner. Call me an idealist...

  6. Charles Butler // 1/19/2007 07:01:00 PM

    Seeing as there's a party going on...

    Frankly (Yeah, yeah. It's a bad one), the whole thing's a little predictable. Cop a sulk in the middle of a long-awaited family reunion. Check below to endure the full text of this message.

    CB

    http://ibexsalad.blogspot.com/2006/12/european-disunion.html

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