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French Socialists look to heal old wounds

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French Socialists look to heal old wounds

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Divided by differences, France’s beleaguered Socialist party has set out to heal ties in the hope of making itself electable.

Its leader Martine Aubry says she wants to restore morale by reforming its political agenda and obtain agreement on who should be its next presidential candidate. “What have we heard in Nicolas Sarkozy’s big speeches…the hand on his heart..the finger always pointed at unscrupulous bosses to limit high salaries and bonuses…that’s what we’ve heard but today there’s been no result…still nothing,” she told the party’s annual strategy session in La Rochelle. Still bruised after its bashing in the European elections, France’s Socialists have struggled to reverse their dwindling fortunes; so there is widespread agreement that big changes are needed. Socialist deputy, Arnaud de Montebourg said: “I thought she was solid and creative. That’s what we need to move forward together and create a new left.” Yet unresolved internal wrangles still threaten to derail the Socialists as members remain split over what direction the party should take.