Sunday, 11 March 2012

Nicolas Sarkozy threatens to pull France out of Schengen zone

His call came as the French centre-Right threw its full firepower behind their candidate in Villepinte, near Charles de Gaulle airport, in a huge, glitzy show of force designed to breath new life into his flagging campaign. Hailed like a prizefighter, Mr Sarkozy climbed the huge white stage to the strains of his campaign anthem and an amended slogan: "Strong France with You". Actor Gérard Depardieu lent some star power to proceedings, along with Mr Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and her predecessor as First Lady, Bernadette Chirac. Days after telling France that he would give up politics if he lost the forthcoming elections, Mr Sarkozy told supporters "I have lost none of my desire to act" before launching into a series of protectionist proposals for France and Europe. These included suspending France's participation in the Schengen visa-free zone signed by all 27 EU states bar Britain and Ireland if its rules were not revised to fight illegal immigration in the coming 12 months.