It was a much anticipated face-off between France’s two presidential candidates, billed as a make-or-break debate for Nicolas Sarkozy or a chance for frontrunner Francois Hollande to consolidate his lead.
In the end, the one and only televised debate between the Socialist and conservative rivals was a feisty if sometimes bickering exchange of views.
Francois Hollande said he felt things were changing regarding the eurozone crisis and the solutions.
“Even on the German side, things are changing,” he said. “There’s a new way of thinking regarding the ECB and eurobonds. There is a new mindset. I promise to come, the day after the presidential election, to renegotiate the policy and win vital support for promoting growth in our economies, to reduce unemployment and to solve the debt.”
In response, President Nicolas Sarkozy said: “The eurobond, that means what? That Germany and France will fund the debts of others? I’m not having that. Because I believe we will not reduce our outgoings, our deficits and debts and they are not going to be secured by Europe as Europe is being secured by its two strongest countries, that of Germany and France.”
Sarkozy is currently up to ten points behind his rival in the polls and judging by French analysts the debate is unlikely to change much. Eighty per cent of voters claim they already know who they will be backing come Sunday’s election.