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TV debate moments: Nicolas Sarkozy v Ségolène Royal | May 2007

"I think first of all that political debate is a debate of ideas."

The French presidential candidates Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal clashed during a televised debate. Sarkozy, whose centre-right UMP went on to win the general election in France, attacked that most Gallic of institutions -- the 35-hour working week.

"There isn't a single country, madame, not a single one, socialist or not, that has followed the logic of sharing work time, which is a monumental mistake," he said. Sarkozy argued with Royal, representing the Socialists, beyond the anticipated two hours in a debate that attracted up to 20 million viewers.

In turn, Royal criticised Sarkozy's views on tackling violent crime and said he was guilty of "political immorality" for his stance on education for children with disabilities. "I think first of all that political debate is a debate of ideas," she said.

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