Dec. 1 - French President Nicolas Sarzoky laid out his defense of the euro to the French public as he prepares his constituents for a new economic reality. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Strong words from French President Nicolas Sarkozy as he gears up for what is expected to be a tough re-election battle. SOUNDBITE: FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY (FRENCH WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION) SAYING: "The fear is back. This fear that destroys the confidence, this fear that paralyses the consumer, that hinders the investor from investing, the entrepreneur from being entrepreneurial, the boss from hiring, the banks from lending. This fear has a name: it is the fear that France has of ceasing to master its own destiny." The speech is seen as Sarkozy laying the groundwork for a controversial plan that would give the European Union more control over national budgets, as the region tries to end the two-year debt crisis and put preventive measures in place. Sarkozy's warning: things are going to change and change fast inside and outside the euro zone. SOUNDBITE: FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY (FRENCH WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION) SAYING: "So, my fellow citizens, a new economic cycle is starting. This cycle will be very different from the one before. The forthcoming cycle will be a cycle of getting out of debt, which will rebalance the economy as necessary, towards work and towards production, that developed countries had a tendency to sacrifice too much." The French president says he is standing behind the euro and called for the euro zone to become a true economic government. A plan he will push with Germany's Angela Merkel at an EU Summit next week. Conway Gittens, Reuters