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Last Updated: Monday, 7 May 2007, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Media hope for unity after Sarkozy win
French press

French papers praise their country's democratic performance in Sunday's close-run presidential election and express the hope that the victor, Nicolas Sarkozy, can unite a divided France.

Commentaries also anticipate a period of renewal, with some mourning the end of an era but accepting that voters expressed their wish for something different.

Now, says L'Independant du Midi, it remains for Sarkozy to prove that he can live up to the expectations he has generated and break with the past.


Nicolas Sarkozy has said he was elected to serve France and the French. He knows and he's said that, in spite of the real opposition he's faced and the unacceptable insults levelled at him, he is president for everyone, including his erstwhile rivals. He knows, as does everyone in France, that there are not two Frances that oppose one another but a democracy comprised of majority and opposition, both essential to achieve constructive and fruitful dialogue. We are counting on the new president not just to be effective but also to build this reunion of all with equal esteem for this is the main condition for renewal.


There is great disappointment after so much fervour, so much passion and so much hope in renewal. France has made a clear choice... Nicolas Sarkozy is a legitimate president... The other France will seek compensation in the parliamentary election. In the meantime, sick at heart, it ponders defeat intent on hope in spite of it all... This setback should rouse the forces of imagination and modernization, that bring together daring and reality. For its part, Liberation embarks upon this task from today. The values of competition have won the day but the values of solidarity and justice remain."


What a victory! ... an exceptionally vigorous and competitive campaign, a vast turnout in the first and second rounds and above all a result that has not been achieved against the left since General de Gaulle... This fine election marks the end of an era and puts a stop to an impressive set of established ideas around which politics have long been organized in France... The election of Nicolas Sarkozy was based on the desire to turn the page, the wish for renewal. It creates a new order. The victory of 6 May is a victory of progress.


Work pays. The victory of Nicolas Sarkozy is not just the victory of one camp over the other, of firm and clear conviction over generous but general concepts, it is also and perhaps especially a demonstration that in politics too, work pays. Indeed, it is the hard work over a long period, the team work and daily labour of Nicolas Sarkozy over at least five years that was hailed by the French people yesterday ... Ambition, authority and action: these three As have marked the personal journey of Nicolas Sarkozy. Now he has been elected, he must put these three As at the service of the public... The scale of the victory must not obscure the lessons of the past. Action must never become activism nor authority authoritarianism.


Sarkozy's France didn't want to go down in history with a woman in charge. It's a conservative France, buttressed by its national identity and haunted by insecurity and immigration, two themes that were extensively exploited by the UMP candidate ... Nicolas Sarkozy has built his victory on a clear-eyed awareness of a France that wants to be reassured and expects that a president will bring about order, restore morality, provide work and reduce the breakdown of society. It remains for him to prove that, unlike the person from whom he takes over, he will be able, as a president who wants to 'break with the ideas, customs and behaviour of the past', to live up to the great expectations he's engendered.

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The press in France
11 Nov 06 |  Europe

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