French Presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy has been given the backing of his centre-right UMP party with a US-style rally in Paris. Hoping to be more in tune with the electorate, observers say it was a softer Sarkozy who took to the podium. 51 percent of voters say they are worried by the Interior Minister’s hardline reputation. But while hoping to woo many with his more consensual views, some areas, like Europe, are not up for negotiation.
“I will always be a dedicated European but I want to be free to say that Europe needs borders, that not every country in the world has the right to become part of Europe, starting with Turkey, which has no place inside the European Union,” he said as part of an 80 minute-long acceptance speech.
Socialist candidate Segolene Royal gave no reaction to the fanfare of publicity surrounding her neck-and- neck rival’s nomination while on a visit in her home region of Poitou-Charentes: “I am for a France that is successful, because it is an intelligent country which leads from the front,” she told reporters.
An opinion poll out today shows that 34 percent of French voters are anticipating a second round showdown between Royal and Sarkozy.