Campaigning for the French presidential run-off election is now focusing on jobs, as President Sarkozy refuses to make a deal with the far-right party of Marine Le Pen.
Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday ruled out striking any deal with Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front party, as he continues his campaign ahead of the run-off in France's presidential election.
"There will be no deal with the FN (National Front), no ministers, but I have to take their vote into account, and I don't feel like I have to hold my nose," the incumbent president said in an interview with France Info radio on Wednesday.
Marine Le Pen's FN came third in Sunday's vote that saw Sarkozy and Socialist rival Francois Hollande go through to the second round on May 6. She has now changed her focus to the legislative elections in June.
Marion Le Pen, the 22-year-old daughter of Marine's sister, will stand in the southern town of Carpentras, where the far-right leader took 31.5 percent of the vote in Sunday's first round, more than the 18 percent she scored nationwide.
Polls show that jobs are the leading concern of French voters.
French media have reported that Sarkozy's advisers are pressing company executives to avoid announcing big layoffs during the presidential campaign, and predict a wave of job losses after the election.
Responding to these fears, Hollande told France-2 television on Wednesday that "before any irreparable decisions are made, I should intervene."
In Hollande's final campaign brochure, released Wednesday, he vowed to resist "the power of money" if elected and said his priorities would include "bringing finance to heel."
jm/acb (Reuters, AFP, AP)