It was illogical, M. Besson argued, for Mme Royal to stress the burden of France's national debt in her speech, and then not face up to the cost of her own programme and how it was to be funded.
Behind this quarrel lies the frustration and anger of many Socialist chiefs at Mme Royal's failure to co-ordinate the often conflicting impulses of veteran Socialist Party activists and her separate, youthful campaign team, Désirs d'avenir.
Also, Royal's comments last night that she would invest in education instead of a second aircraft carrier has aroused contrasting viewpoints in all the top contenders.
"(I want) at the same time safety for France and a good education for the French. It is nevertheless a curious idea which consists in saying to the French: 'it will be necessary to choose, either you educate your children, or you ensure to them security,'"
Jean-Marie Le Pen:
"I give the preference to national Defense (...) a country like France cannot allow itself not to be defended. In fact, the second aircraft carrier is a need since, during time that one of them is in repair or revision, we would not have the means of intervening where we need to do it."
And finally from the Francois Bayrou camp:
"the second aircraft carrier must be done. It is necessary (to have) two aircraft carriers so that there is of them one which goes. It is necessary that it is European, it is even the most obvious. Should be made European defense. All alone France will not be able to support one great effort of defense any more. One needs a European defense. One has said it for several years. And it is the moment to do it with the second aircraft carrier."
One of the only candidate thus far who has also pledged to not spend money on a second aircraft carrier is Olivier Besancenot of the Revolutionary Communist League. I guess with a party name like that, you wouldn't need a carrier to strike fear in your enemies...
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