Nicolas Sarkozy promised to give France a good shake - but was Europe shaken by the result of the French elections? Listen to this - had Germans, Italians, Spaniards and Britons had their way - France would now have its first female president. Radio France International's Nick Champeaux sounded out the opinions of European commentators and correspondents in pre-election Paris
Celebrity gossip, big brash headlines, paparazzi pictures and lots of nudes, those are all trademarks of British tabloids. But another recurring topic the tabloids love to hate is the European Union - or the so-called Euromyths. You might say Brussels bunkum if you're British. Anthony Gooch is the Head of Media at the Representation of the European Commission in London and his mission is to fight these so-called Euromyths.
In France voters will hit the polls this Sunday and the large majority of the electorate is still undecided on who to support. However France's neighbours have been closely following the French election campaign and it seems that Ségolène Royal is their preferred president. Twice as many would prefer the French socialist presidential candidate, compared to her conservative rival Nicolas Sarkozy. That’s the results of a Harris Interactive survey for the Financial Times newspaper canvasing opinions in Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain. Admittedly that’s only four out of twenty seven European member states, and it’s just an opinion poll. Radio France Internationale's Nick Champeaux sounded out the opinions of European correspondents in the French capital.
And we should soon know the outcome of that campaign for the presidential election. The first round of voting is on April the 22d. Opinion polls, for what they're worth, put the right wing candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, in the lead, followed by socialist Ségolène Royal, centre right François Bayrou, and number four is the far right contender Jean Marie Le Pen. Surveys show that forty per cent of the electorate, 18 million voters, are still undecided. Working class voters often leave it to the last days of the campaign to make up their mind. Blue collar workers account for a quarter of the electorate, so they will be the king-makers so to speak. That's why all the candidates are going out of their way to seduce them. Radio France International's Nick Champeaux reports from Charleville -Mézière, in the Champagne Ardennes region, in the north-east of France.
The New Year is always a time to reflect on the past 12 months - and to look ahead reflecting on the changes we want - or sometimes actually need.... Maybe your New Year's resolution is to quit smoking and get fit or perhaps to spend more time with your family. But what about the bigger picture? What New Year's resolution would you want for your country? Here's a sample of what Europeans think.
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