Paying tribute to former Socialist prime minister
Pierre Bérégovoy, who committed suicide in the same town on May Day 19 years ago, French presidential candidate Francois Hollande was in Nevers.
Hollande, also a Socialist and leading in the polls, ridiculed incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy’s May Day rally in Paris: “So, it’s now that he discovers the May Day. Before, we don’t know what he used to do on this day – he didn’t share his deep thoughts with us. But this year he has invited himself. He has the right.
“I will not accept that he understands the value of work. The value of work is that we all stand together.”
Hollande’s supporters at a May Day demonstration in Marseilles stressed it was vital to keep Sarkozy from winning.
“Sarkozy is not the right choice. In order to have work, to have everthing he’s failed to give us in five years,” said one.
Another added: “This May Day is more political than ever because we are five days away from the presidential election. Sarkozy has allowed himself to manhandle the working class for far too long. We’re here to show him we’ve had enough and we want him to leave.”
People on the May Day marches may be hopeful that Hollande is elected president on 6 May. His proposals include increasing the top rate of income tax and a 75 percent levy on incomes of over a million euros a year.