- March 20th, 2012
- Posted by EUEditor
A bad mood is accompanying the French presidential election campaign with the shootings in the South-west, including Mondayâ€™s attack on a Jewish school, aggravating concerns over racial politics.
Police have linked the school outrage in Toulouse with two other incidents in a little over a week, in which three soldiers have been shot dead in the street.
Three children and a Rabbi (father of two of the children) were killed , by a black-clad assassin on a motorcycle, a modus operandi associated with the earlier shootings in the same region of the country.
Police have not found definite motives for the killings; there has been talk of a random serial killer, though the victims have been from minority groups, raising the issue of race.
In the election campaign itself, President Nicolas Sarkozy has continued to close on his Socialist Party opponent, Francois Hollande, in the voting intention polls.
The latest, the 13th in the Ipsos-Logica series commissioned by media organisations including Le Monde, he is one point behind Mr Hollande, 27.5% to 28.5%.
However the figure for a second-round outcome maintains a clear lead for Francois Hollande, 56% to 44%.
Among parties other than the Presidentâ€™s conservative UMP or the Socialists, nearly 40% of voters so far are backing the centrist UDF (candidate Francois Bayrou, 13%), the communist Left Front (Jean-Luc Melenchon, 11.5%), and the right-wing, anti-immigration Front Nationale (Marine LePen, 15%).
See poll report, http://www.scribd.com/doc/86044852/Sondage-Intention-de-vote-a-l-election-presidentielle-2012, (20.3.12).
Some of the anti-immigrant sentiment available to candidates under pressure has been taken away from the Front Nationale by Mr Sarkozy himself, in a recent television interview, declaring there are â€œtoo many foreignersâ€ in the country.
The timing was unfortunate; suffering some criticism, Mr sarkozy has been to a memorial service for the people killed at Toulouse.
As a government Minister he obtained a reputationÂ for tough talk, and actions against ethnic youth, during riots in the suburbs; and the current administration has made some capital out of campaigns to get Roma people, gypsies, out of the country. See EUAustralia Online, “EU gets its way in ‘gypsies’ case”, 29.8.11.
France votes on 22.4.12, with the second round between the two front-running candidates a fortnight later, on 6.5.12.
Gil Shefler, Reuters, â€œFrench police worried about additional attacksâ€, Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem, 20.3.12.Â http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=262587, (20.3.12).
Time.com, NY, â€œDaily Briefing: Must-Reads from Around the World: March 19, 2012â€, 19.3.12. http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/03/19/must-reads-from-around-the-world-march-19-2012/#ixzz1pe4mv08H, (20.3.12).
Picture Memorial gathering in Paris for Toulouse victims, crownheights.info