Sarkozy's UMP sets out programme for 2012
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Ahead of President Sarkozy’s highly-awaited televised speech on Sunday, his ruling UMP party gathered in Paris to vote through its programme for 2012. The occasion is also being used to motivate the party in the face of the popularity of Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande in opinion polls.
Speaking to the party faithful, UMP leader Jean-François Copé emphasized the need for courage in what he described as “this crucial moment in our country's history”.
“We need to accept the realities of the situation in all their complexity and high stakes, and we have to be honest about the big decisions to be made,” he said. “Finally, we have to show courage and take action. That means saying 'no' from time to time …even if at the moment it means losing a few points in the polls. And that's what makes all the difference between Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande."
The main points of the UMP programme include:
- Effective end of the 35-week introduced by the Socialists in 2000. Employees could negotiate their own working hours.
- Introduction of work apprenticeships from 14-years-old.
- Nuclear power to stay, but renewable energies to make-up 23 per cent of the energy mix by 2020
- New rules governing treatment of juvenile deliquants with possible punishment from age 12
- No early release for prisoners until they have served 2-3 years of their prison sentence.
- No vote in local elections for foreigners outside the EU
- Increase in number of expulsion of foreigners
- Increase in the length of the school year with a reduction in the summer-break
- Introduction of tax on financial transactions.
- Merger between the G8 and the G20
The first round of the presidential election is due on 22 April followed by a run-off vote on 6 May.