Posted on Mercredi 2 mai 2007
By MICHEL GURFINKIEL
Special to the Sun
May 2, 2007
PARIS — Next Sunday, the French will elect their president. Strangely, foreign policy has been largely absent, so far, from the campaign. Insiders say this will be the case again tonight, when 20 million viewers will watch Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal engage in their only debate on television.
Both sides have agreed that most voters are chiefly interested in domestic issues: unemployment, rising public debt, immigration, and law and order. But other factors come into play. Many foreign policy issues are seen as too volatile and divisive. On Iran, for instance, hard-liners and appeasers can be found both on the right and the left. The same is true of Europhiles and Euroskeptics.
Both candidates may also fear that some issues may get too personal.
Ms. Royal has been attacked for her lack of experience in foreign policy. And Mr. Sarkozy has been targeted as a « foreigner » — he is the son and grandson of immigrants from Hungary and the Balkans — and as an « agent » of America and Israel. One caricature to be found on the Internet refers to « the infernal triangle: Washington- Tel Aviv-Sarkozy » and features Mr. Sarkozy’s face in the middle of a Star of David. (more…)