Voting begins in France, economy may doom Sarkozy

By REUTERS
April 22, 2012 09:45

 
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PARIS - France voted on Sunday in round one of a presidential ballot, with a feeble economy that could make Nicolas Sarkozy the country's first president to lose a fight for re-election in more than 30 years.

In a contest driven as much by a dislike of Sarkozy's showy style and his failure to bring down unemployment as by policy differences, Sarkozy and his Socialist rival Francois Hollande are pegged to beat eight other candidates to go through to a May 6 runoff, where polls give Hollande a double-digit lead.

Hollande, 57, promises less drastic spending cuts than Sarkozy and wants higher taxes on the wealthy to fund state-aided job creation, in particular a 75 percent upper tax rate on income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million).

Read the full story here.

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