French President Nicolas Sarkozy drew criticism for his remarks on immigration and French economic proposals after his campaign speech in a Paris suburb last Sunday.
Steven Erlanger, writing for the New York Times, reported that Sarkozy vowed to pull the country out of the European Schengen Agreement if its rules on immigration were not revised.
The Schengen Agreement has allowed Europeans to pass freely, without visas, across the borders of 26 of the European Union member states since 1985.
Sarkozy also took a hard line on economic policies, referencing the 1933 Buy American Act with calls for a "Buy European Act." The West Australian newspaper quoted him saying, "I say no to a Europe that opens up its markets when others don't. Such behaviour does not mean accepting free trade, it means accepting being a Europe that is a sieve."
Sarkozy, France's incumbent in the upcoming elections, has taken a more conservative turn, pulling in votes from far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, in an effort to keep his position in the April-May elections.