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Politics

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Sarkozy exalte « travail et famille »

by Rosa Moussaoui

Sarkozy Lauds Work and Family

Translated Tuesday 24 November 2009, by Kristina Wischenkamper

The head of State yesterday multiplied allusions to the Ancien Régime and Christianity to reinforce his vision of a French “national identity”.

Yesterday at Chapelle-en-Vercors in the Drôme Nicolas Sarkozy gave us his vision of the Republic. A vision that is as questionable as it is worrying sifted through his injunctions on the “French national identity”. “The Republic represents the authority of the State, equal opportunities, merit, work” he started whilst flaying “egalitarianism”. In tones reminiscent of the 1942 Riom Trial brought by the Vichy regime against Léon Blum and the republicans the President of the Republic referred to the 35 hour week as a tragic error calling it “a renunciation of the work ethic”. He further called upon the values of “work and family” to defend the suppression of the inheritance tax and the implementation of the tax shield. The unemployed and those “on aid” were also harshly targeted by the head of State who described “those who do their job” as if in opposition to “those who don’t”. It’s a strange vision indeed when the tenant of the Elysée evokes what the Republic owes to the Ancien Régime. According to him, that is. Ever faithful to his strategy of rewriting and manipulating history, Nicolas Sarkozy maligned the “bloody experience of the Reign of Terror” but glorified the “successful Capetian dream” of a unified France. Before calling on us all to feel the contemporary resonance of those sanctified at Rheims. In an anti-secular flight of fancy he insisted that “there is not a single free thinker, no freemason, nor atheist who does not feel, deep within himself, the legacy of Christianity”. Confusing national identity with “cathedrals and church bells” he decreed: “To be French is an honour. And each of us must earn that honour.” A rather obvious paraphrasing of a National Front rallying call.


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