French socialists turn hawkish

France’s two top Socialist leaders cast themselves as tough on public finances and the Eurozone debt crisis yesterday, in a challenge to President Nicolas Sarkozy ahead of an election next year. Martine Aubry and Francois Hollande, both candidates to run for the Socialists in the 2012 presidential election, called for radical action to deal with Eurozone debt as bloc leaders prepared to meet this week. Aubry, a former labour minister who was the architect behind France's 35-hour working week, said that if elected president she would stick to the current government's aim of cutting the deficit to an EU-imposed limit of 3 per cent of output in 2013.