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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