Sarkozy last week during one of his biggest campaign rallies and with 42 days until the election Sarkozy gave more clear anti-immigration rhetoric, which could be a bid to appease potential Front National voters by calling for the greater protection of French borders. This would include the proposal of removing France from the Schengen accord, which 27 member states operate, unless tighter controls by the EU on illegal immigrants could be imposed. Le Pen, who is anti-immigrant and anti-EU, has stated that Sarkozy is simply copying her policies, one of them being to withdraw from the schengen accord. Sarkozy went onto say that if elected he would halve immigration from 180,000 to 100,000 per year as well as make the process of obtaining naturalisation much tighter, which would in turn help immigrants integrate better into French society. Holande’s team have criticised the announcement which seems to be in response to the rising popularity of the Front National and set to become a central campaign theme over the coming weeks.
Sarkozy also stated that the European way of life should be defended by way of protectionist policies whereby companies working on national projects could only use products made within the EU, even though this may be breech of EU fair competition rules. Sarkozy closed his speech re-emphasising the ban on the public wearing of the niqap which he said were “contrary to the values of the Republic.” Sarkozy is currently ahead of Le Pen but behind Hollande, the favourite to win the French presidential elections.
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