Three weeks of riots has prompted French prime minister Dominique de Villepin and interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy to fall over each other in an attempt help the “disaffected youths”. From Reuters:
“Proclaiming equality before the law is no longer enough: henceforth we also need to promote equality by (using) the law,” Sarkozy wrote in an opinion piece for Le Figaro newspaper. “We cannot continue to accept that a growing number of individuals are allotted destinies written in advance.”
Sarkozy stuck to his guns despite opposition by Villepin, the person most likely to challenge him for the role of leading the centre-right into the presidential election.
Villepin told a radio interviewer yesterday that there was no place for positive discrimination in a state built on the notion of equal opportunities for everyone.
“We say that when there are inequalities, we put them right. But we must not fix them by renouncing our French model, a universal model under which each individual is respected for who he is, independent of colour,” Villepin told RTL radio.
“We must correct the inequalities and fix handicaps … but without taking into account ethnicity or religion — which is the nature of positive discrimination,” he said.