Monsieur Francois Mitterrand, leader of the French Socialist Party, which lost in the French general election earlier this month, has emerged from a meeting with President Valery Giscard d'Estaing in an uncompromising mood.
Monsieur Francois Mitterrand, leader of the French Socialist Party, which lost in the French general election earlier this month, has emerged from a meeting with President Valery Giscard d'Estaing in an uncompromising mood. The meeting, at the Elysee Palace on Tuesday (28 March) grew out of M. Giscard d'Estaing's promise to bring the country's opposition into "reasonable co-operation" with the government.
SYNOPSIS: Despite the previous expressions of goodwill, M. Mitterrand and President Giscard d'Estaing are old political enemies. Their points of difference, rather than similarity, emerged in the statement which M. Mitterrand read to newsmen after the meeting.
The Socialist leader said the policy problems of the newly-elected government were not discussed. He said the parties of the right had won, and it was up to them to work out their aims. He said it would be misleading to suggest that the policies of the left and right could be married. Preserving the chances of a change in government would be good for democracy, he added.
The meeting lasted for 90 minutes, and M. Mitterrand's two-page statement was prepared in advance. In it, he promised that the Socialists would be ready to collaborate on vital issues affecting national independence and the role of France in the world. Speaking of the President's expressed with to bring government and opposition into a state of "reasonable co-existence", M. Mitterrand challenged President Giscard d'Estaing to make concessions to the opposition which would allow this to happen. The socialist leader said that opposition politicians should be given equal time on television to reply to government statements, that Parliament should be strengthened, proportional representation for elections introduced, and campaign financing reformed.