Interview with Tatyana Zvereva

Tatyana Zvereva, a senior researcher on France from the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shared with Russia Today  her view on the result of presidential elections in France.

Russia Today: The turnout was the highest in 20 years, some put that down to the relative youth of the presidential contenders, both in their fifties. Do you think that was why so many people came out to vote or one of the reasons anyway?

Tatyana Zvereva: Really, the turnout was very much high, exceptionally high. It was a very important choice for France; it was not only important but also a very hard one. It was a choice between two conceptions. It was not a clash of civilizations of course, but a clash of these two concepts. One of them modern and liberal and another one modern and socially oriented. Nicolas Sarkozy had to choose the way to find a balance between these concepts: to modernise the country and at the same time to keep the social orientation which is very suitable for French tradition.

RT: Sarkozy is of course got a lot on his plate, he has already made a number of promises that he said would be carried out very quickly after he comes into office. What sort of France are we going to see now, what major changes do you think we will see in France with Nicolas Sarkozy as a President?

T.Z.: There is no doubt that Nicolas Sarkozy will implement his programme because it is very important for France, for the French economy first of all. There are two main tasks in domestic affairs and in international affairs at the same time. One of them, in domestic affairs, he promised to cut taxes. He also promised to find some solution with the 35 hours working week. His main economic slogan was