Eva Joly: “My France has nothing in common with Nicolas Sarkozy’s”


Eva Joly presented her manifesto at a campaign launch in Roubaix.

Photo: Bertrand Guay, AFP

Article source: Eva Joly : «Ma France n'a rien à voir avec celle de Nicolas Sarkozy», Le Parisien (11/02/2012)


Little more than an hour after François Bayrou launched his attack on Nicolas Sarkozy’s initiatives, Eva Joly also went on the offensive this Saturday in the northern city of Roubaix. Officially launching her campaign at a meeting planned months in advance, the green candidate blasted the head of state.

The former examining magistrate, who started her speech by imitating the local ch'ti accent as an in-joke (she has recently been mocked for her Norwegian accent), castigated the President who, according to her, “has taken it upon himself to give handouts to his rich friends” during his five year term. “Nicolas Sarkozy is in no position to tell us about our values,” she said. “We will not stand idly by and let him do whatever he wants.”

In contrast to the head of state, who wanted to “scrap the role of independent examining magistrate because he was afraid of the Karachi affair,” the candidate said she intends to offer “a reconciliation project after five years of division.” Then she listed her flagship measures: the phasing out of nuclear power, regularisation of the status of illegal immigrants, an end to politicians holding multiple offices, full compensation for work-place accidents, repeal of the HADOPI law (an internet copyright law comparable to SOPA) and the minimum sentencing law for repeat offenders. This final flourish allowed her to dig her claws into the President, inviting her supporters to boo “the delinquent Charles Pasqua.”

“The France I cherish is generous, my France has nothing in common with Nicolas Sarkozy’s,” she concluded before whipping up the crowd of 1600 people. “We need to give meaning to change, take the right decision on the 22nd April, vote with your heart, vote justly!”

Green Party leader, Cécile Duflot, and former candidates Dominique Voynet and Noël Mamère, joined her on stage at the end of the speech. They had taken turns in the afternoon to express their support for “Eva”, who is lagging behind in the polls (2-3%). Dominique Voynet said: “Bravo, thank you, we’ll see it through to the end with you!” Cécile Duflot went as far as to tell “the wet blankets and pains in the arse that we’re not going to quit!” Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who was absent from the meeting, had recorded a rather unenthusiastic video, “Our candidate will try, and together we should try, to force” a debate on ecological transition. “Eva Joly’s campaign is useful” to assist a “useful parliamentary campaign,” and thus a “useful five-year term” with an EELV group in the National Assembly, he said.

Translation: Antoine Gervais and Jérémy Delhaye

Editing: Sam Trainor

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