Sarkozy Pledges Aid, Security for Slums

French president Nicolas Sarkozy says that the very idea of the nation is at stake unless the poor, and mainly ethnic minority suburbs are revived. Sarkozy spoke as he announced a three-year proposal to deploy 4,000 more police and roll out a half-billion euro plan aimed at key neighborhoods. Also in his plan, were goals of helping 100,000 people find work, possible bussing of students in different neighborhoods to mingle social groups, and a declared war without mercy on gangs and drug dealers. Sarkozy unveiled his plan just ahead of municipal elections to be held on March 9th and 16th. “Together we will build a France proud of its diversity,” he said, adding that young people should not be subject to discrimination because of the color of their skin.