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European Elections in France: Sarkozy the Campaigner Retakes the Stage - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Nicolas Sarkozy is back in his favorite role -- that of election campaigner. The French president is campaigning on behalf of his UMP party in the run-up to European elections -- and already has his eye on the 2012 presidential vote in France.

Sarkozy is back, teetering on his tiptoes, with his trademark big gestures and jerking shoulders. Speaking in front of 4,500 selected supporters of his Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party -- a thoroughly bourgeois audience of a certain age -- the French president carves a line in the air with the edge of his hand and punctuates his utterances with the stab of a pointed finger. The Le Parnasse sports stadium, where the rally is being held, has been decked out with blue carpeting for the occasion. Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking in front of the French tricolor and the European Union flag, builds himself up into a sweaty rage.

 An impassioned Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a campaign speech in Nimes Tuesday.

He rants, complains, praises, spouts polemics, speaks of "a beautiful France" in the heart of Europe and evokes the era of Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle. His hands reach into the air when he rails against "tax havens" and "the suicidal system" of a virtual economy and when he calls for "sustainable growth" and the "moralization of capitalism."

Sarkozy is back -- not as the head of state, not as president, but as the election campaigner in perpetual motion. It is his favorite role, one that he never really gave up.

by Fran on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 02:09:46 PM EST
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