Royal slams 'dangerous' Sarkozy remarks

11th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 11, 2007 (AFP) - French Socialist candidate Segolene Royal on Wednesday described as "very dangerous" remarks by presidential frontrunner Nicolas Sarkozy suggesting that paedophilia was determined by genes.

PARIS, April 11, 2007 (AFP) - French Socialist candidate Segolene Royal on Wednesday described as "very dangerous" remarks by presidential frontrunner Nicolas Sarkozy suggesting that paedophilia was determined by genes.

Royal said the comments showed the "brutality" of the rightwing candidate who is leading in public opinion polls ahead of the April 22 first round of voting.

"I find them very dangerous," Royal said in a television interview when asked about Sarkozy's remarks published in Philosophie magazine.

"Once again, they show the brutality of Nicolas Sarkozy's way of thinking and acting," said Royal, 53, in an interview to France 2 television.

Sarkozy was quoted as saying in the interview that he was "inclined to think that people are born paedophiles" and suggested that genetics could also explain suicide among teenagers who "are fragile and have a pre-existing sadness."

Royal lashed out at the remarks, saying "this is a very alarming view of humanity and contrary to mine."

Such genetic determinism would suggest that "the upbringing by family, schools and society doesn't serve a purpose."

Sarkozy, the 52-year-old candidate of the governing party, has defended himself in the controversy, saying that he is being unfairly attacked for raising questions about the link between behaviour and genes.

"Who can tell me it is normal to want to rape a three-year-old child?" he said late Tuesday during a campaign speech in the central city of Tours.

"At least let us talk about it. Let us not close the door to discussion," he said.

His remarks were also met with disapproval from Archbishop of Paris Andre Vingt-Trois who said Sarkozy seemed to discount the notion of free will.

"What seems most serious to me is the idea that we cannot change the course of existence," he said.

Sarkozy and Royal are leading in a field of 12 candidates for the first round of voting, according to the polls.

A runoff vote is scheduled for May 6 as none of the contenders are expected to win a majority of vote in the first round of the election.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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