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French presidential rivals grilled on television

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French presidential rivals grilled on television


As the second and deciding round of the French presidential election draws closer, incumbent conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and rival socialist Francois Hollande have gone on television to set out their stalls.

Pressed for his position on immigration, Hollande said his stance was clear.

“Foreigners who arrive regularly in France, on our territory, will not be expelled,” he said during his television interview.

“But foreigners who do not have the right to be on our territory will be taken to the border. I cannot be more clear. Foreigners who have rights are here, the others who have no rights will not be here anymore,” Hollande continued.

Sarkozy lost the first round of the presidential poll and needs to woo far right voters.

National Front candidate Marine Le Pen secured enough support to come third.

“There are six-and-a-half million French people who voted for Madame Le Pen, they are not far-right people,” Sarkozy said.

“Their vote is not a protest vote, but a crisis vote. This is a problem which doesn’t concern the right, but all of France. Why did the six-and-a-half million people think the answer is to trust Le Pen?”

The latest opinion polls suggest that Sarkozy’s quest to win over Le Pen’s voters is having little impact.

Two surveys put Hollande ahead of the incumbent in the decisive runoff.

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