Villepin: withdrawal 'not possible'

In a speech to members of his UMP party this evening, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has ruled out the withdrawal of the CPE.

Submitted by alibi on March 21, 2006

In a transcript of the speech distributedto journalists, translated for, Villepin declares:

"With this law, there are three things which are impossible. The first, is its withdrawal, because that would be like saying that we capitulate to the logic of the ultimatatums and preconditions. This, our electorate obviously does not want, and they would not forgive us for it. The second, is its suspension, because quite simply, that is contrary to our Constitution. And the third thing that is impossible, is the distortion of our law, because to lose the balance of the project would be to deprive it of any chance of success"

However, this attempted show of UMP unity had already been undermined earlier today by remarks made by UMP deputy Nadine Morano who had said today that Villepins rival for the UMP leadership going into the 2007 presidential election, Nicolas Sarkozy, would have handled the CPE crisis better.

She said what when "[Sarkozy] explains, he talks, then he acts. He has a real talent for pedagogy, explanation and action all at the same time,”.