May 3 - French President Nicholas Sarkozy says Socialists will bring austerity and recession as he promises victory despite lagging in polls. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
The clock is ticking for French President Nicholas Sarkozy Trailing in opinion polls for Sunday's presidential election, Sarkozy held one of his last major electoral rallies in the southern port city of Toulon. He had harsh words for socialists rival Francois Hollande's policies. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY SAYING: "They dare to say that they support growth. Theirs is not a program for growth. It is a program for recession. It's a program that will choke it, it's a program that will deepen the deficits and that will ruin investors' confidence." He says he fears for the French economy (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY SAYING: "When bankruptcy draws near, when confidence collapses they rally themselves to the cause of austerity. In the 80s, two years were needed before the situation became untenable. Today, we need two days. Two days of illusion for years of suffering. Two days of singing for years of sacrifice. Two days of lies and then years to pay the bill. That is the Socialist project. Who wants that for France? Not now. Never. As he wraps up his campaign, he is still trailing in the polls although the margins have narrowed. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY SAYING: "There is one day left. One day to convince. One day, I promise you, for the best victory that there can be. The one you will have deserved. The one we have been looking for. The one they refuse to give us and the one that we will have imposed on them. Long live France, long live the Republic." His supporters says there is still time (SOUNDBITE) (French) SOPHIE VERDURE SAYING: "Unfortunately here, there is a ferocious streak of anti-Sarkozy sentiment. So I hope that reason will return as the hour is grave, not just in France but around the world and I think it's our duty to help France." If he loses, Sarkozy would become the first French president since 1981 to fail in a bid for re-election. . But he would be the 12th euro zone leader to lose office since the start of the crisis in 2009. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters