Nicolas Sarkozy, the elected president of France in 2007, is the head of the party, Union Pour un Movement Populaire (Union for a Popular Movement). Sarkozy was one of the youngest mayors of Neuilly-sur-Seineat – at the age of 28. From this point, he started his career and became a well known figure for his blunt views, motivation and energetic approach to issues. Later, he was appointed as an interior minister and immediately became known for his hard-line approach towatrds crime and violence.
In 2004, Sarkozy was given the post of finance minister – in the same year he became the leader of UMP. Nicolas Sarkozy became the president of France on May 16, 2007; the time when most of the French voters were quite disgusted with the policies of the Chirac’s government and wanted new reforms and modernization even if such initiative content are harsh for the voters. Sarkozy came out with flying colors in the initial days of his presidency. His passion and relentless efforts to take up challenging task made his popularity graph soar.
He headed many economics reforms, brokering an agreement on the European Union Construction and establishing a warm personal relationship with the American president were the highlights of the initial days of the French presidency. (Ayan, 2009) With such a popularity, through print and tele-media, made people a little susceptible about the days to come, with only 3,700 jobs were created between April to June and in the second quarter of year 2007, the growth rate was half of what was expected, made thing more grimmer for general public.
(Bruce , 2007) Unfortunately, Sorkozy failed to maintain his initial pace; he had to face many circumstances and events which were driven by many other hands. Though, his voters wanted to reduce unemployment and improved purchasing power, but the country’s growth was about 2% in 2007. The growth was completely against his expectations – public deficits were still too high. (Dominique, 2008) In his early period of the presidency, Sarkozy became so famous and got fames, praise and people of France started to build high expectations from his side.
His active participation in international politics earned him lavish applauses. When he had to face some real challenges, his popularity declined rapidly. Though, the French President had strengthened himself for a stressful period to deal with the economic dissatisfaction, social clash and cold relationship with French voters, but he faced these challenges boldly. (Dominique, 2008) Sarkozy prepared his plans to align so-called “special regimes”, which required civil servants to work for certain number of years to qualify for pensions.
To execute his plans, he met service unions of different state owned organizations and companies, but before he moved further, workers refused to work under this condition and went for strike. “Benoit Hamon, who happens to be a spokesman for the French Socialist Party said “We have a president who aggravates the crisis by making the wrong economic and social choices, by his deafness regarding the general dissatisfaction,” The strike affected railways, airports, schools and other government services. Few private sector industries were lightly affected.
Sarkozy said that he understood the anxiety of the unions but has lined out reforms for more dealings”. (Shannon, 2009) On April 29th, Sarkozy announced “Our successors will reflect upon the question of governance,” “Greater Paris is a project that does not belong to any one party, or any one camp. It affects everyone and belongs to everyone. ” “Greater Paris is about the capital playing a role in the European and the world economy [and becoming] a sustainable city for the post-Kyoto era,” Sarkozy said in a 60-minute speech launching the project.
“What I’m proposing is certainly ambitious and difficult. It’s about preparing for the future. ” He planned to reduce the distance between Paris and its surrounding suburbs. He proposed to improve the means of transportation. He announced $47 million dollar project for this purpose. He was confident that this would increase French GDP by 30% and create more options of jobs. He intended to make Paris an attractive tourist destination. Sarkozy wanted to complete the great Paris plan in decade. He enforced, to move in fast pace to reach the desired goal. (Bruce, 2009)
Lamented Socialist legislator Arnaud Monte Bourg said, “There’s a feeling the political class is helping itself while the French people are left on the sidewalk to fend for themselves,” The above mentioned statement was give by Sarkozy’s opponent, when he increased his salary by 15%, just after six months. It was his slogan “to work more, earn more”. But his step was also the factor of loosing his popularity. (Bruce , 2007) Earlierm in the Surkozy’s presidency, he worked for rejected the E. U constitution. He named it as Lisbon Treaty, which was passed by the French parliament.
That step made him more famous. Later, the moves made by him affected his reputation badly. Too many changes in tasks and failures in maintaining coordination among member countries of the E. U made him an incompetent personality. ”Along with a few others in Europe, Nicolas Sarkozy incarnates the new voice of a right re-centered halfway between economic liberalism and state-direction, and between odes to business and those to intervention,” Laurent Joffrin, editor of the left-leaning daily Liberation. He further wrote that his talk should be matched by his actions.
Sarkozy proposed no measures, which matched European level and money got wasted. Joffrin further wrote “The sound of his speeches are good, but that’s because they often resonate hollow. ” (Bruce , 2008) “Sarkozy is a committed European and an admirer of America, but in the end he’s going to do what’s best for France’s national interests — and his own political fortunes, Sarkozy has yet to articulate a unified foreign policy view, and for a while will probably be making decisions pragmatically, based on the issues and interests at hand.
That’s going to involve some surprises — including some that may not entirely please the U. S. ” Dominique Reynie, a commentator and political science professor at the Foundation Nationale des Sciences Politiques in Paris. (Bruce, 2009) According to news papers and political analysts, who portrayed him as a binder of French–American friendship, which was broken in the Iraq war. It seems that Sarkozy is trying to start a new relationship with America. Observers received a great shock when in one of his speeches, inspite of discussing domestic affairs and polices, he emphasized upon French-American relationship.
Sarkozy said, “I want to make an appeal to our American friends to tell them that they can count on our friendship, which has been reinforced by the tragedies of history that we’ve faced together, I want to tell them that France will always be at their side when they need her. ” This statement in his speech clearly shows that he wanted best relationship between France and America, which were destructed by his opponents in past. One can say that Sarkozy is following anti Chirac policies towards the US. (Bruce, 2007)
Sarkozy was trying to maintain the relationship with America, but he described new American President Obama as “not always up to standard on decision-making and efficiency. ” (Bruce, 2009) Sarkozy’s attempt to handle China is one of the failures of the Sarkozy’s diplomacy. He refused to visit the Olympic ceremony and put the condition of openning talks with Dalai Lama. France strongly insisted upon the point of view to be released of political prisoners. According to political critics, it is an internal matter of China and France’s stand is not justified.
(Bruce, 2007) Another failure of the Sarkoz’s diplomacy was the Meditairian project. Sarkozy was very passionate about this union. He thought that Europe can only be prosper if surroundings of the Meditairian Sea are peaceful – France had neglected Germany initially. Germany objected that the Meditairian Union as it involved only three countries, which were Italy, Spain and France. The problem was resolved later and all members of E. U were included in this union. (Patrick, 2008) Sarkozy established a true skill in taking up the presidency.
According to opinion polls, his popularity ranked nearly as high as General de Gaulle, leaving behind all other French presidents. It was not just an incident that Sarkozy became the French president, but he also won the hearts of French voters. He ran successful political campaigns by using media and all other resources. He publicized his strong stances upon reduction of crimes, taxes and employment. He acted in response to all sad happenings in the country. The Fifth Republic never had a President, who had taken numerous decisions by himself and in such a small time.
After forty-three years, Nicolas Sarkozy announced at the NATO summit conference that France would reserve that symbolically vital legacy of Gaullist heritage. General De Gaulle departed as a President in 1969. French leaders hold great respect Gaulle’s legacy. “All my life, I have had a certain idea of France,” wrote General De Gaulle Memories de Guerre. He was the man of clear vision. He made some brave changes in legacy of France in 1940 with his own personal experience. From his resignation till now French politicians are following his policies.
“Charles de Gaulle – who did all, he could to give France a certain freedom of action with respect with the United States, followed thereafter by all of his successors up to Chirac – must be turning in his grave. ” (William, 2009) Since 2007, the Gaulle’s legacy is weekend by Nicolas Sarkozy. No one of the politicians has influenced to protect it. Sarckozy sent the French military back in NATO. Sarkozy, with pro –American policies, he follows the rule to serve Washington. Paul Godt, a professor of politics at the American University in Paris said “De Gaulle no longer carries much clout in French politics.
His time is finally past,” (Jaffery, 2009) De Gaulle was a prominent figure of the 20th century, he was a great resistance against Nazi forces in the World War II. His decision to quit forces from NATO was to refused the US and the Soviet concept. On otherhand, Sarkozy adopted pro-American policies. France is involved in many military missions of NATO. But Goalie impact is so strong on politicians and leaders. They are accusing Sarkozy for accepting the America’s supremacy and selling the country’s interest. (Jaffery, 2009)
“They are throwing our heritage into the stinging nettles,” said Francois Bayrou, head of the centrist Modem party who came third in the 2007 presidential election. This issue created two polls, but Sarkozy has strong back-up and huge majority behind him. Boniface, director of the Paris-based Institute of International and Strategic Relations said. ”Sarkozy has an historic opportunity here because he is doing this during the honeymoon period between Barack Obama and France”. (Bruce, 2009) Sarkozy also brought some great changes in the Charles De Gaulle’s constitution.
According to Sarkozy, some amendments should be brought to the 1958 Constitution of Fifth Republic. Usually, to bring such changes in the constitution is not easy as there are threats of the civil war, anger of opponents, approval of ministers and other legislative work needed, but as far as Sarkozy is concerned, everything was so easy. More than half of the articles (47 of 89) of the Guile’s constitutions had been changed. That was possible only due to a fresh breeze and the supremacy of the democracy in the country.
According to analysis of many political critics, the changes which were brought to the 1958 Guile’s constitution is quite justified. The prior constitution was engineered only to fulfill the needs of only one man. While the Sarkozy’s ammendments respects the point of views of majority. (Andrei, 2008) The Economic sector is the only area where Sarkozy had followed the Gualle policies. Gualle had always preferred economy, which was the combination of state-guided and the capitalist economy. According to Gualle, the government involvement actually helps the country’s economy.
Sorkozy also believes in this phenomenon; he thinks that the intervention of the state actually helps the economy to flourish. For example, he set up funds to meet the crisis faced by French car companies. “When a new world is opening up before our eyes with the ongoing turmoil, we need to rethink a lot of policies, Well, I say that the lessons of Gaullism are more relevant than ever,” Sarkozy said in one of his speech. He had taken some steps internationally anti Guallist, but his statement clearly shows deep inside his heart, some where he is Gaullist. (Jaffery, 2009)
In the Nicolas Sarkozy’s era of presidency of two years, he emerged as a person who is determined, energetic and blunt. He promised his nation revolutionary changes both in internal and external affairs, but he failed to some extent, due sudden the financial downfall of the world. His popularity decreased among his voters due some personal life scandals, and also from comments of his wife (Carla Burni) on her nationality status. All is still not lost for Sarkozy, his actions during the G-20 summit for strong efforts to regulate the financial market has gained commendable applause by the French public.
The French president has showed courage to take stand on issues which was missing in the past government. (Jeff, 2009) References Andrei Fedyashin, Sarkozy has de Gaulle’s constitution tailored July 25, 2008 http://en. rian. ru/analysis/20080725/114944887. html Accessed May 6, 2009 Ayaan Hirsi Ali Nicolas Sarkozy http://www. time. com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1894410_1893847_1893844,00. html Accessed May 6, 2009 Bruce Crumley, Sarkozy’s Comments on Leaders Draw Shock, Denial, April 18th, 2009 http://www. time. com/time/world/article/0,8599,1892375,00. html Accessed May 6, 2009
Bruce Crumley, Sarkozy’s Big Plans for a Greater Paris, May 3, 2009 http://www. time. com/time/world/article/0,8599,1895290,00. html Accessed May 6, 2009 Bruce Crumley, Nicolas Sarkozy: A Grand EntranceThursday, Sep. 06, 2007 http://www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1659386,00. html Accessed May 6, 2009 Bruce Crumley, Sarkozy’s First 100 DaysThursday, Aug. 23, 2007 http://www. time. com/time/world/article/0,8599,1655515,00. html Accessed May 6, 2009 Bruce Crumley, Sarkozy Moves to Boost His SalaryWednesday, Oct. 31, 2007 http://www. time. com/time/world/article/0,8599,1678328,00. html Accessed May 6, 2009
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