We've previously outlined the complicated strategy of Nicolas Sarkozy to come from behind in the French presidential elections. He must woo over some of the voters who plan to vote for the National Front to his right while at the same time he must avoid alienating voters in the political center.
It may not work in the end but the incumbent is going about the task with fervor and panache.
He told voters in areas where the National Front is strong that he wanted to halve the number of legal immigrants coming into France while claiming that he would continue the policy of supplying emergency medical treatment even to illegal immigrants because this was part of France's humanitarian character. "I cannot accept an immigration that is purely motivated by the hope of consuming the more generous social benefits in France." The French president accused the left of thought terrorism on the issue of immigration. This was typical practice by the "caviar left" that sent their children to protected schools where they would not encounter immigrants.
While speaking to the issues that most concerned voters of the National Front Nicolas Sarkozy pivoted to claim that the National Front was the covert ally of the French left "a vote for the National Front in 15 days on the first ballot will serve Mr. Hollande just like 20 years ago a vote for the National Front served (the former Socialist President) Francois Mitterrand."
Bruno Le Roux the spokesperson for Socialist party candidate Francois Hollandr accused Nicolas Sarkozy of "restoring the extreme right to the heart of the political chessboard" and of making "inadmissible allegations" as if the socialists "rejoice at the growth of the National Front"
Francois Mitterand who died in 1995 is becoming a star in Sarkozy's campaign. He is warning the French voter that they could not entrust the economy to the hands of the French Socialists and asked them to look back at 1981-1984. When the left under Mitterrand took power for the first time during the 5th Republic they felt they had a mandate to extensively change labor relations. They upped salaries, enhanced benefits and extended vacations. Whether justified or not these changes made French products much less competitive in the European single market and in comparison with global competitors. As a result in 1984 Mitterrand engineered a reverse course and moved sharply rightwards economically. Sarkozy recalls that period: "In 1981 the Socialists emptied all the coffers in two years…In 2012 you won't need two years you will need 2 days… You'll have Greece or you'll have Spain."
National Front candidate Marine Le Pen is of course fighting Sarkozy's attempts to steal her electorate and she says that Sarkozy, like all the other candidates, is a candidate sponsored by the banks. These same banks are causing Spain to fall after they did in Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Le Pen claims that the French were being short-changed "paying more and more in taxes but they have less and less" especially in terms of courts, police and gendarmes and that explained the rise in crime and terror. The French were not receiving social assistance as this was reserved for the Toulouse murderer Mohammed Merah "like thousands of recidivist hoodlums and criminals who live off our backs."