In a last minute push to win votes in the European parliament elections, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy Calls for “Profound” EU Overhaul led by France and Germany.
In a clear bid to rally voters to his centre-right UMP party, which is under threat of losing in France to the anti-EU National Front, Mr Sarkozy broke a two-year virtual silence on political issues to issue a ringing defence of the need for the union to preserve peace in Europe and beyond.
Those who want Europe to break up “forget the lessons of history and will lead us to the abyss”, he wrote in a long article published in Le Point magazine and the german newspaper Die Welt on Thursday. “France and Europe are inseparable geographically, historically, culturally and, now, politically. Europe should be vibrantly saluted and supported.”
Addressing the key issue of immigration, the focus of much anti-EU rhetoric, Mr Sarkozy said zero immigration was an illusion. But he said if action was not taken rapidly to control the inflow from outside the EU, “our social contract will explode”.
He said there should be an immediate suspension of the Schengen agreement on open borders within most EU countries, to be replaced by a “Schengen 2” which countries could join only if they properly imposed a common immigration policy.
Mr Sarkozy’s intervention came as polls showed the FN, led by Marine Le Pen, leading the European election race in France with as much as 25 per cent of the vote, ahead of the UMP.
Mr Sarkozy called for “a great Franco-German economic zone at the heart of the euro” that would lead the single currency. He said there should no longer be equal powers within the eurozone for smaller members such as Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg.
“There is no alternative to drastically diminishing the extent of (the EU’s) competences,” Mr Sarkozy wrote, saying it should retain power only over industry, agriculture, trade, competition, energy and research.
Power “Only” Over Industry, Agriculture, Trade, Competition, Energy and Research
Excuse me for asking but other than immigration, what is left? Better yet, what drastic cuts in EU power is Sarkozy proposing? More questions abound. Why should the EU control, agriculture when France is the primary beneficiary? Then again, that question has an obvious answer.
“Profound” Overhaul Nonsense
Sarkozy is in fantasyland if he thinks Malta, Cyprus, Luxembourg etc, will vote to cede power to France and Germany. To change the treaty, every nation will have to sign it.
Even if nations did cede power to Germany and France, what is it France and Germany agree on other than the need to agree? Not budgets, not stimulus, not a banking union, not retirement age, not work hours, and not the role of the ECB.
The Financial Times reports Mainstream parties braced for Farage phenomenon
Nigel Farage has predicted “an earthquake”, and by the time polling stations close at 10pm on Thursday night, his UK Independence party may have achieved what had once seemed incredible – it might have won a nationwide election.
The party once described by David Cameron as comprising “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists” believes that it can win Britain’s European parliamentary elections, setting off aftershocks in Westminster and Brussels.
Despite weeks of hostile media coverage, Mr Farage predicts that his party will emerge victorious when the ballot boxes are emptied, while building its base in a series of local elections across the country.
Mr Farage insisted on Wednesday that Ukip could build on these contests and win its first seats at Westminster at the next election, despite the unfavourable first-past-the-post voting system.
These elections should be fun. Results will be in shortly.