Le Pen says Sarkozy 'keeping his promises'

7th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 7, 2007 (AFP) - French nationalist firebrand Jean-Marie Le Pen said Tuesday that President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was accused on the campaign trail of poaching ideas from the far-right, was "keeping his promises" three months after his election.

PARIS, Aug 7, 2007 (AFP) - French nationalist firebrand Jean-Marie Le Pen said Tuesday that President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was accused on the campaign trail of poaching ideas from the far-right, was "keeping his promises" three months after his election.

"He appears to be keeping his election promises -- of course not always on the scale and depth hoped for by those who voted for him, but still, he is moving in the right direction," the National Front leader told French radio.      

"All of his actions are carefully thought out, balanced, very well informed and up until now pretty well executed," said the 79-year-old.

"And for the time being it's paying off... he made it through the first stage of his honeymoon without facing serious opposition," he said, dismissing rumblings of protest over Sarkozy's role in an arms deal with Libya and the cost of his upmarket US vacation.

Since his election, Sarkozy has met twice with Le Pen -- who was shunned by former president Jacques Chirac for his extremist views -- as part of cross-party consultations on Europe and on institutional reform.

"He wants to show that he is a man who brings people together, who is not bound up by rules," said Le Pen. "He will see who he wants, when he wants, and where he wants."

Le Pen's anti-immigration National Front party had its worst score in more than 25 years in June legislative elections, encouraging speculation that it is disappearing as a serious force in French politics.

Credit for the FN's eclipse is largely attributed to Sarkozy, whose campaign strategy, with tough talk on law and order, immigration and national identity, was aimed at drawing far-right voters back into the mainstream fold.

One of Sarkozy's first moves as president was to create a new ministry of immigration and national identity, and a bill tightening the conditions of entry for foreigners is to be tabled after the summer.

AFP

Subject: French news

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