French President Nicolas Sarkozy has used a national television appearance to bolster his beleaguered government.
After numerous strikes and this week’s urban riots, Sarkozy said he was working hard to redress social injustice:
“For many years our immigration problem has not been addressed properly. Ghettos have been created where people have not been able to integrate. This is the reason for the trouble, and my government, with controlled immigration, is doing all it can to address this, as well as taking a hard line with the deliquents.”
The two youths killed on their motorbike at the weekend after an incident involving a police car were north African. A memorial march for them passed off peacefully, but their deaths sparked three nights of rioting, mostly in Paris, in which more than 100 policemen were hurt.
Regarding the French economy, Sarkozy said it needed a kickstart:
“I am trying to provide the fuel for economic growth in France.”
France’s 35-hour working week is also a Sarkozy target. He said it could be raised if bosses paid more.
The President also said the French people should not expect any Christmas presents from him this year. He said they should know there is no money in the pot.