The most remarkable thing about Nicolas Sarkozy's speech on defense tonight is the unanimity the issue seems to generate in mainstream French politics. Most all of what he said was endorsed by Socialist candidate Segolene Royal last Saturday, including maintaining defense spending at 2% of GDP, adapting for new and evolving threats, and giving greater powers to parliment.
In fact, Sarkozy spent much of the time trying to distinguish himself from Royal, mainly by repeating his intention to build a second French aircraft carrier.
"It is nevertheless curious to say to the French: choose either education, or safety...it is a strange reasoning which must certainly correspond to a logic, perhaps even a coherence, but I found neither one nor the other.
I want to say to the French whom they have the right and to safety and education.
There too I do not understand the coherence: either one does not make an aircraft carrier, or one makes two...(it is) curious to want to make an aircraft carrier and not to put the question of permanence to the sea of our air and sea group."
In all fairness, Royal has not said that she would not build another aircraft carrier, but that she would not permit France to build another one alone.
Technorati tags: Ségolène Royal, Segolene Royal, Nicolas Sarkozy, UMP, PS, politics, politique, présidentielle, actualité, France