Francois Bayrou says France needs unity

19th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, March 19, 2007 (AFP) - France does not need a Margaret Thatcher-like figure to help promote reform, and instead requires someone to unite people, centrist French presidential candidate Francois Bayrou said in an interview published Monday.

LONDON, March 19, 2007 (AFP) - France does not need a Margaret Thatcher-like figure to help promote reform, and instead requires someone to unite people, centrist French presidential candidate Francois Bayrou said in an interview published Monday.

Asked by The Daily Telegraph if France needed its own Iron Lady, Bayrou said: "I think that France has its own project for society and that this project cannot be lifted from those of another (country)."

"In France we should not try and copy any other political model whatsoever. We have our own project and our own values.

"For example, France is a country that loves unity and needs to live in unity -- British society needs this a bit less. These are differences."

Bayrou is projected to win the presidency if he can make it through to the decisive second round of the vote, according to a TNS-Sofres poll released Sunday.

In the two-candidate run-off set for May 6, Bayrou would win by 54 percent to 46 percent against Nicolas Sarkozy of the ruling centre-right party, and by 60 percent to 40 percent against the Socialist candidate Segolene Royal, according to the survey for RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper.

He remains in third place, however, in most polls, including the TNS-Sofres survey.

Bayrou rejected suggestions that his calls for a type of national unity government bringing together left and right-wing political parties would lead to paralysis, telling the paper: "A new political method and landscape will emerge and a new way to work together as opposed to one against another."

"I will govern by bringing together new, competent people representing the entire country and believe me, there will be lots willing to take up the call."

He also pledged to change the style of the presidency, saying that "every president in the last 25 years behaved as a republican monarch", and symbolically pledged to reduce the expenditure at the presidential palace by 20 percent in his first year in office.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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