• France's news in English

Friendly words before battle begins

Matthew Warren · 9 Feb 2012, 08:31

Published: 09 Feb 2012 08:31 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A surprise meeting between President Sarkozy and the Socialist candidate who wants to take his job in May was a picture of courtesy and warmth on Wednesday evening.


Both the President and François Hollande were attending a traditional dinner in honour of French jewish organisations, along with many other senior figures from French politics.

Hollande, accompanied by his partner Valérie Trierweiler, made the first move, crossing the packed room to get to the top table where the President was sitting.

Filmed by news cameras he was seen edging his way across the room until he tapped the President on the shoulder.

Slightly surprised, the President turned, smiled and stood up to shake hands.

BFM TV caught their brief discussion on film, which consisted of Hollande saying "I was asking myself why…..why all these people" to which Sarkozy replied "they're not for me."

After greeting some of the other guests at the table, Hollande then turned and left.

President Sarkozy is yet to declare his official candidacy in the poll which will take place in two rounds.

The first round of voting, in which voters can choose between all the declared candidates, will take place on Sunday April 22nd.

A poll for BFM TV on Thursday gave Hollande 30 percent of the vote, followed by Sarkozy with 26 percent. Just behind were Marine Le Pen of the far-right Front National on 17.5 percent and centrist François Bayrou on 13 percent.

The two leading candidates from the first round then go through to a final two-way contest on Sunday May 6th which, if the polls are right, will be between Hollande and Sarkozy.

The same poll gave Hollande 60 percent against 40 percent for Sarkozy.

President Sarkozy is expected to announce his candidacy in the next two weeks, according to a report by radio station Europe 1 on Thursday. 


Poignée de main de Nicolas Sarkozy et François... par zapataguevara

Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available