French president Nicolas Sarkozy has launched a vicious racist campaign against Muslims, Jews and immigrants.
“We have too many foreigners on our territory,” he said last week, adding that immigration into France should be halved to 100,000 a year.
This latest outburst comes on top of other attempts to whip up hatred against minorities. Sarkozy has launched a campaign against halal and kosher meat, calling for new food labelling regulations to mark them out.
Meanwhile Sarkozy’s prime minister François Fillon said Muslims and Jews should abandon their “outdated” customs over meat.
All this is a naked pitch for the Nazi vote on Sarkozy’s part. He faces presidential elections this year but is trailing badly to the Socialist candidate François Hollande.
So he has turned to a strategy of shoring up his vote by appealing to those who vote for the fascist Front National.
Sarkozy’s anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish themes have all been heavily promoted by Marine Le Pen, the Front National’s new leader.
In the short term this has boosted Sarkozy’s ratings at the expense of Le Pen. But in the long run it will only further entrench the racism of the French establishment.
Sarkozy has tapped this vein before. His 2007 election campaign leaned heavily on attacking minorities as “scum”.