France’s Socialist presidential frontrunner Francois Hollande has claimed European leaders are awaiting his election to back away from German inspired austerity.
He said the budgetary discipline treaty signed by 25 EU leaders in March would plunge Europe into recession, and he will immediately set out his ideas for reforming the pact to European leaders, if he wins the election:
“I will renegotiate the treaty signed by the departing candidate, and the Head of State and the Government,” he said. “I think there is an awareness which goes above and beyond the European left which may even involve conservatives who say to themselves ‘it is not possible to continue along this path, otherwise it will be the populists who will take power.”
But Nicolas Sarkozy criticised socialists for being hypocrites, and out of touch with the electorate.
The incumbent – who must now appeal to as many of Marine le Pen’s National Front voters as possible to stand a chance of reclaiming the presidency on May 6 – chose to ridicule the left, in front of supporters in the UMP stronghold of Alsace:
“I will not take lessons from Mr. Hollande who finds it normal to work with, and hoped to govern with Mr. Mélenchon, who said that Cuba was a democracy and that Fidel Castro, was a Democrat.”