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France

Europe needs new direction, says Socialist presidential frontrunner

Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

Three months ahead of France's presidential election, Socialist frontrunner François Hollande has unveiled his plans for the country at his first mass campaign rally on Sunday saying he intends to present a new Franco-German treaty to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in January 2013 if elected leader. 

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“We have to open a new cycle for Europe, one of economic, industrial and energy cooperation between our two countries,” he told a crowd of 10,000 supporters at Le Bourget just outside Paris.

“I will suggest to our German friends a new relationship based on truth,” he said. “But Germany must prove their solidarity. Germany will not remain strong in a weak Europe and she will not remain rich in a poor Europe.”

He stressed that he would make education a priority of his government and aims to reduce the number of pupils leaving school without a qualficiation, estimated at around 150,000 a year, by half during his term as president.

Hollande also promised to get tough on young troublemakers by creating high priority security zones in areas where delinquency rates are high.

According to opinion polls, Hollande is currently ahead of President Nicolas Sarkozy with an anticipated 28-30 per cent of the vote.

 

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