A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

Will Sarkozy prove to be the leader the nation needs? – Telegraph

In News, Politics on March 20, 2012 at 19:48

'It’s serious,’ Nicolas Sarkozy said in Paris before a minute of silence  yesterday - Toulouse shooting: Will Sarkozy prove himself to be the leader the nation needs?

In the wake of the Toulouse shooting: Will Sarkozy step up?

The stage was set this week for the feverish final countdown to France’s presidential elections – now just a month away and looking less and less like a foregone conclusion. Instead, the campaign of an apparently racist and anti-Semitic serial murderer has stunned the country into aggrieved silence, foisting on politicians and society a painful and unexpected moment of reflection about the state of the nation.

Yesterday was supposed to mark the official launch of the presidential campaign, after which the 10 candidates who have mustered the required backing of 500 mayors must by law be accorded the same broadcasting air time. After weeks of hogging the limelight, the big hitters – Nicolas Sarkozy, the conservative incumbent; François Hollande, his Socialist rival; and Marine Le Pen of the far-Right National Front (FN) – can now be given no more coverage than anti-capitalist crusader Philippe Poutou or Jacques Cheminade, an oddball who wants to colonise Mars, compares Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, and believes the West will be saved only if it teaches choral music to all three-year-olds.

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