Sarkozy Threatens to Exit Schengen

His campaign flagging, French Prez tacks to the right
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2012 1:25 AM CDT
Sarkozy Threatens to Exit Schegen
Nicolas Sarkozy, gestures as he delivers a speech during a meeting in Villepinte, east of Paris, last night.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

(Newser) – With Nicolas Sarkozy trailing his Socialist rival in the polls, the French president moved sharply to the right in a fiery speech yesterday, blasting the EU, insisting on stricter immigration policies, and calling for a "Buy EU Act"—otherwise, France could withdraw from the Schengen accords, which allow citizens to circulate freely over member nations' borders, reports the Wall Street Journal. "I want a political Europe that protects its citizens," said Sarkozy at a rally of 50,000 people in an airport hangar close to Paris.

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Unrest in northern Africa has caused the flow of immigrants to France to rise, angering many there, especially on the right. Sarkzoky has stumbled recently in his campaigning, and early this month was forced to hide in a bar from egg-throwing protesters. According to a recent poll, Socialist François Hollande leads Sarkozy 29% to 26% in the first round of voting (scheduled for April 22), but head-to-head, Hollande is way out in front, 56% to 44%. (Read more Nicolas Sarkozy stories.)

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