Friday, December 15, 2006

New details on UMP debate

Several new details have appeared describing today's UMP debate in Lyon. It was held in front of an audience of 1500, and according to reports, they were unabashedly pro-Sarkozy. In the beginning Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie was even "whistled and hooted" at by the audience, prompting moderator Jean-Pierre Raffarin to intervene.

During the course of the 2 hour debate Sarkozy said that he hoped that the French Parliament would sign a "simplified" version of the EU constitution that was rejected by the French public in 2005. Both he and Segolene Royal have been in favor of reviving the EU constitution or creating a new kind of mini-treaty. However, Alliot-Marie came out against the idea, saying that "I believe that Europe is a too great challenge in the years to come, it is a too beautiful an idea to be satisfied with a mini-treaty, which would give the impression of a Europe on the cheap."

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