In a New Year’s message delivered live from the Elysee presidential palace, Sarkozy said the task of reforming the country was “huge, given that France is lagging so far behind the rest of the world”.“But believe me, my resolve is unfailing,” said Sarkozy, dressed in a dark suit and tie, and seated next to a French flag.“Despite the obstacles, despite the difficulties, I will do what I promised to do,” he vowed.
With France set to take the helm of the European Union in the second half of 2008, Sarkozy said the country was ready to take on a role as a leading player in the world.“Let France lead the way! This is what the people of the entire world expect from her,” he said. “Our Old World needs a new Renaissance. Well then, let France be the soul of this Renaissance! This is my warmest wish for the year to come.”
Looking back on his first months in office, Sarkozy said he had tackled the most “urgent” tasks such as tax reform and bringing France back into the European fold with a proposed new EU treaty.“With the start of 2008, a new phase is beginning,” said the president, adding that the next measures would underpin what he called a “policy of civilisation” that deals more broadly with societal issues.The president said that despite a gloomy economic outlook due to the financial crisis, “the first results of the measures undertaken should begin to take hold”.
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