"European President", Bayrou will submit the new European Constitution to the French by referendum
STRASBOURG (AP) - "France needs a European president", hammered Monday in Strasbourg the UDFcandidate François Bayrou, who commited himself, in the event of victory, to submit a new European Constitution to the French by referendum.
"I want to speak about Europe in this election campaign when nobody speaks about it", he explained, paying a vibrating homage to the European project, "the most beautiful thing which was built (.) since humanity is humanity".
The UDF candidate thus wants that France "becomes again the major actor whom it should never have ceased being regarding the evolution of our continent".
Because the European project is in crisis. "In the current shape, the treaty will not be adopted", he estimated regarding the European constitutional treaty rejected by the French on May 29,2005. He appealed for the convocation of a new intergovernmental conference, charged with writing a "text readable by everyone, short, comprehensible and offering the necessary
"This text, I do not want that it will be decided by short-circuiting the French. (...) Elected President of the Republic, I will subject it to the referendum of the French this new text which will make Europe "a citizen's Europe". I will not decide in their place what they decided first once", he promised. "They voted. They have the right to be informed of the continuation of the events".
"I do not agree when (the UMP candidate) Nicolas Sarkozy says : "we will make this text adopted by the Parliament without speaking to the French", he added. And "it will be necessary that the President of the Republic engages himself" in the referendum campaign. "He will not be the distant spectator of this story".
Far from a vision of Europe reduced to a free trade area, Francois Bayrou pled for a "union of Europe to change the world" and "to defend our model of society (...) our social values in particular".
In addition he warned "it is not enough to vote for somebody so that everything arranges itself". Regarding diplomacy, the fight against global warming, research, or immigration, "the national decisions will not be enough to regulate the problems".
He thus denounced the "tax competition" between the Member States of the EU and proposed a harmonization of the corporation tax.
In the same way, "none among us has the budgetary and political means to build national defenses. It is necessary that we have a European approach regarding defense". In particular, "it is necessary that we think of the way in which we treat our nuclear
armament within the European framework".
Pleading for a "European energy policy" vis-a-vis Russia which "has a political idea of the supply of gas", he tackled the socialist candidate: "I do not believe a word (...) of the feasibility of the engagement of Ségolène Royal, who claims that we will drop by 80 to 50% the share of the nuclear power in our national energy balance (...) Or then we open coal-poweredplants, i.e. we restart polluting!".
In the same way, "whoever will claim to control immigration within the national framework will not make it": "it is not with charter flights that one will settle the questions of immigration" but with "a policy of development of the African continent".
Credited with 13 to 14% of intentions of vote in the last surveys, Francois Bayrou was optimistic Monday, ensuring that "per hundreds of thousands and million the French are joining us". Pointing out the amazing level of the French debt, he invited his supporters "to ask explanations from Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal, who every evening in their speeches promise tens of billion euros additional expenditure". AP