Speaking to thousands of cheering supporters in Nice on Tuesday night, the candidate lashed out at François Hollande’s Socialist government, and presented himself as the saviour of France before promising to “re-establish authority”.
He said: “On May 7, 2017, playtime will be over. France is in such a critical position right now because it has been led by a weak and arrogant leader whose government has lost all authority and has no control over its people.”
Sarkozy likened himself to ‘populist’ Republican Donald Trump and said that he, as the “people’s president,” would put French interests above all else.
“Mr Trump wants to protect American interests, which is great news, because I want to protect French interests. Listening to people is the president’s duty. How many more Brexits and Trumps do we need before government officials realise that people are angry?”
The right-winger’s war on radical Islam and immigration also intensified ahead of this weekend’s election.
He said: “We live in France. Here, the state comes first, religion comes second. People should be discreet about their religious beliefs. We live in a country where women are equal to men and I will not tolerate medieval behaviour.”
The presidential hopeful added that political Islam was incompatible with French values: “France faces a very high threat from terrorism and I, as president, will wage an unrelenting war against provocative jihadists. Against inhumane extremists who promote mass violence. Against Islamic barbarians who hate us, hate what we love and what we stand for. It’s us or them.”
Sarkozy also promised to crackdown on illegal immigration by re-establishing border controls within the Schengen area, and said that France was no longer in the position to welcome migrants and could no longer help them integrate into French society.
“We need a powerful head of state, a commander-in-chief, a man of experience, and that man is Nicolas Sarkozy,” Eric Ciotti, a right-wing lawmaker for the department of Alpes-Maritimes, said.
News Agencies – March 2, 2011
Authorities in the French city of Nice have forbidden a far-right group to hold a “porchetta and rosé apéritif” outside a Muslim prayer hall. The Nissa Rebela nationalist group says it has already submitted a second request for permission for the event after its first was rejected. The permit was denied on technical grounds, according to the Alpes-Maritimes regional council.
Under French law, organisers must seek a licence for all public gatherings at least three days before the event takes place. Nissa Rebela applied after this deadline, the council said.
The group’s members could face six months in prison and a 7,500-euro fine if they go ahead with the event without permission.
But Nissa Rebela insists that the event is still on. The group is calling its supporters to gather outside a Muslim prayer hall on Nice’s rue de la Suisse, where it will be serving pork and wine.
The worshippers at the hall have been conducting evening prayers in the street, since they say the building is too small to house them. Anti-racism groups and local politicians have strongly condemned Nissa Rebela’s plans. The event is deliberately provocative and designed to stir up hatred, said the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi.
An undercover operation by the French anti-racism group, SOS Racisme, has exposed racism at some bars and clubs on campsites in the south of France. The group found two campsites and three clubs in the Alpes-Maritimes, out of a total of around 20 establishments tested, turned away ethnic minorities before allowing whites inside.
The organization has named Le Camp du Pylône in Antibes Juan-les-Pins and Le Green Park at Cagnes-sur-mer as campsites which discriminated between the two young men of North African origin and two young white men sent to try and stay there. Both establishments deny the accusations. A spokesman for Green Park told the site 20 Minutes that there was no basis for the allegations and that SOS Racisme “hears what it wants to hear.” The president of SOS Racisme Dominique Sopo told 20 Minutes that they had video and sound recordings of the incidents.
Le d_put_ UMP-CNI J_r_me Rivi_re, priv_ d’investiture par l’UMP pour les prochaines l_gislatives, s’est f_licit_ lundi de la proposition de Philippe de Villiers d’interdire le voile islamique dans les lieux publics. Les Fran_ais ont des “craintes” sur “la place de l’islam _ l’_cole, dans les administrations, mais aussi dans sa conqu_te de la rue et de la vie de tous les jours”, et “la plupart des dirigeants politiques n’y font r_f_rence qu’_ la marge, sans aucune mise en perspective” a-t-il d_plor_ dans un communiqu_. J_r_me Rivi_re, d_put_ de la 1_re circonscription des Alpes-Maritimes, est en conflit avec l’UMP qui a d_cid_ de ne pas lui renouveler son investituture pour les prochaines _lections l_gislatives. L’UMP lui reproche notamment d’avoir affich_ _ plusieurs reprises sa proximit_ avec Philippe de Villiers, pr_sident du Mouvement pour la France.