M. Francois Mitterrand -- the Socialist candidate in the final round of the French Presidential?
GV Mitterrand arriving and picking up red rose
SV Audience chanting
SCU Mitterrand speaking:
GV Audience chanting
SVs Mitterrand handing out roses
Initials BB/2143 JT/MR/BB/2200
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: M. Francois Mitterrand -- the Socialist candidate in the final round of the French Presidential elections next Sunday (18 May) -- told an enthusiastic crowd of young people at Nancy on Monday (13 May) that France has gone too far along the road to socialism to turn back.
The same day, opinion polls had put his conservative rival, M. Valery Giscard D'Estaing, in the lead by three per cent. The polls indicate that this narrow margin comes from M. Giscard D'Estaing's superior showing in a television debate last week.
But even if M. Mitterrand was worsted in the debate, on Monday he showed all his powers of fiery eloquence bringing cheers from the audience.
M. Mitterrand claimed that he represented a vital stage in an historical process which was just beginning. He said that, regardless of the result of the election, France was heading inevitably towards socialism. And he ridiculed suggestions that he was a man of the past by pointing out that his audience was made up of young people.