Transfer of power

Declaration by M. Nicolas Sarkozy, President-elect (excerpts)

Paris, 6 May 2007

(…) The French people have spoken. They have chosen to break with the ideas, customs and behaviour of the past. I want to rehabilitate work, authority, morale, respect and merit. I want to restore the nation and the national identity to honour. I want to make the French proud of being French again. I want to end penitence which is a form of self-hatred and the competition of memories which feeds hatred of others.

The French people have opted for change. I shall be implementing change because this is the mandate I have received from the people and because France needs it. But I shall do so with all of the French people. I shall do so in a spirit of unity and fraternity. I shall do so in a way that leaves no one feeling excluded or left out. I shall do so with the resolve that everyone finds his or her place in our Republic, that everyone feels recognized and respected in his or her dignity as a citizen and as a human being. All those who have been broken and worn down by life must know that they will not be abandoned, that they will be succoured and aided. Those who feel they cannot escape whatever they do must know that they will not be left out and that they will have the same opportunities as the others.

I call on all French citizens, irrespective of their party, beliefs and origins, to join with me to get France moving again.

I call on everyone not to let themselves be trapped in intolerance and sectarianism but to open up to others, to those who have different ideas, who have other convictions.

I want to issue an appeal to our European partners, to whom our destiny is linked, to tell them that all my life I have been European, that I believe in European integration and that this evening France is back in Europe. But I entreat them to hear the voices of people who want to be protected. I entreat them not to remain deaf to the anger of people who perceive the European Union not as a protection but as a Trojan horse of all the threats that come with the changes in the world.

I want to issue a call to our American friends to tell them they can count on our friendship which has been forged through the tragedies of history that we have confronted together. I want to tell them that France will always be at their side when they need us. But I also want to tell them that friendship means accepting that friends may think differently and that a great nation like the United States has a duty not to obstruct the fight against global warning but on the contrary to take the lead because the fate of all mankind is at stake.

I want to issue a call to all the peoples of the Mediterranean to tell them that it is in the Mediterranean where everything is being played out, and that we must overcome all hate to make room for a great dream of peace and civilization. I want to tell them that the time has come to build together a Mediterranean Union which will form a link between Europe and Africa.

I want to issue a call to all Africans, a brotherly call, to tell them that we want to help them vanquish disease, hunger and poverty, and to live in peace. I want to tell then that we will work together on decisions for a controlled immigration policy and an ambitious development policy.

I want to issue a call to everyone in the world who believes in the values of tolerance, freedom, democracy and humanism, to everyone persecuted by tyranny and dictators, to all oppressed women and children in the world to tell them that France will be at their side, that they can count on us.

My dear compatriots, together we are going to write a new page of our history. I am confident it will be a great and beautiful one, and from the bottom of my heart this evening, I say to you:

Long live the Republic!

Long live France./.

(Source : French Embassy in the United Kingdom)

Last modified on 16/01/2009

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