The presidential contenders square up in an angry debate watched by more than 18 million (photo:dpa)

French elections: Rivals Sarkozy and Hollande clash in face-to-face debate

As Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande aired their differences in a heated and aggressive face-to-face television debate on Wednesday – voters might well wonder if the differences between the two contenders for the presidential seat are more rhetorical than real. This report considers the effect of the confrontation – the last before Sunday’s election – on voters and the markets.

IT IS hard to say who won the heated and tense televised debate between the French presidential candidates Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande on Wednesday night, May 2, 2012. Both used the airtime (2 hours 51 minutes and watched by 18 million) as their last chance to sway the nation’s voters at the secon...

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Dr. Emmanuel Martin
Mr Hollande, who is often seen as ‘soft’ (his nickname is Flamby – a caramel pudding), was in fact solid, even challenging the president on figures of unemployment and compulsory levies
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