The Times of UK in its 21st February edition featured an article by Charles Bremner with a rather spectacular title : “President Bayrou of France” ! This article is part of the latest wave of articles by the foreign press who recognizes that something unusual and important is happening in France : a deep wave that has a chance to break the deadlock of French politics by imposing an open and pragmatic way to tackle issues. Here are an extract :

“When President Chirac was re-elected in 2002, Bayrou committed what looked like political suicide by refusing to merge the UDF with the Gaullists with whom it had long been junior partner. A majority of his MPs deserted for the new Union for a Popular Majority, Sarkozy’s party, and Bayrou turned the rump UDF into an anti-establishment force.

He recast himself as scourge of both government and Socialist opposition and the elite that runs France. Playing up his rural roots, the former cabinet minister has been crusading against an establishment that he likens to the absolute monarchy of the ancien regime. Sarko and Ségo, both senior members of the Paris elite, sing a similar song of course. But Bayrou has a better argument for casting himself as an outsider and he is also offering a consensual alternative to France’s permanent class war. He wants to “shatter the glass wall that divides the two clans” and create a government of national unity. His ideas sound sensible: reform education, cut spending and encourage business while also maintaining France’s cherished welfare state. To the fury of both the Sarkozistes and the Royalistes, he announced this week that as president, he would appoint a prime minister from the centre-left. The ideal, he said, would be a younger version of Jacques Delors, the former minister and EU Commission chief.

“You can’t do that”, they screamed from both big camps. Political reality excludes such fantasies. “Oh yes I can”, said Bayrou, pointing to Charles de Gaulle and other past leaders who appointed cross-party governments. To puncture the Bayrou bubble, Sarko and Ségo are now turning their guns on the mosquito who has got in the way of their showdown”.