French incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy said the European Union must boost production and job creation and not rely on consumer demand to bolster growth.
“Working is the heart of everything,” Sarkozy said in a speech at a presidential campaign rally in Strasbourg, eastern France, today. “If Europe is no longer a place for production, there will be no more jobs,” he said, adding that putting consumption first was “not putting things in the right order.”
Sarkozy pledged to make economic convergence with Germany one of his priority if re-elected in the two-round election to be held April 22 and May 6.
“For Europe to become a motor for change, Europe must change,” said the candidate, who is neck to neck with rival Socialist Francois Hollande in opinion polls one month before the first vote. Sarkozy changed his campaign slogan to “a strong France in a strong Europe” for the first time today.