Interview with Olivier Ravanello

Moscow bureau chief of TF1 France, Olivier Ravanello, joined Russia Today to give his view on the presidential elections in France.

Russia Today: How do you estimate this campaigning?

Olivier Ravanello: There were many expectations in France before the elections and the reasons for that are different. First of all, both candidates are young, which is new for France. Besides, lots of people want changes. In fact, this is very strange – the right President Jacque Chirac says: “You want changes? Vote for the right candidate.” Mr Sarkozy is a candidate of changes, of course. While Ms Royal doesn't want big changes in economics. There is a big centre now in France. So everything is new.

RT: Do you think a new president will be able to unite the country and win the hearts of those who voted against him?

O.R.: No, I don't think because this is not in the French tradition. For years France has been split into two sides. For instance, if Mr Sarkozy is elected, left voters will watch what will happen and if Mr Sarkozy is extremely radical they will protest against his politics. And the same thing for the left side. They shouldn't also go to extremes. This is the way the French democracy works. Sometimes candidates are more radical during their electorate campaign, but should they become president they shift to the centre.    

RT: What do voters expect from their new president? What changes are needed in France?

O.R.: There is a big economic problem in France. I speak about unemployment. People are very worried of it. Maybe they shouldn't worry. France has still a big economy and the situation doesn't seem that critical. However, people are concerned. Both candidates focused on it. Ms Royal was saying “OK, I will protect you”, while Mr Sarkozy stressed “If we want to live better, we should have courage to change.” And now there are two Frances at the moment. The first says France should change, but the second one believes it is time to keep quiet. You will see the result.