The urban violence suffered by our great populations reveals the faults of our social model. In view of such events, our first priority is to restore the authority of the State to face unjustifiable acts. But we must not forget that such events have taken place in areas where massive unemployment, immigrant conditions, school failures and nonexistent social progress are quite common. Despite excessive social expenditure, our outlying zones are in crisis. And those who manage to get out due to an incredible tenacity meet with prejudice and racism. With no chance at all of integrating themselves into society, the neighbourhoods isolate themselves. _Since this problem must be solved, I am in favour of a French-style positive discrimination. Contrary to rumours, I am not in favour of comunitariansm or ethnic quotas. That is not the French tradition. Likewise, the absurd idea that states that positive discrimination would eliminate all efforts should be ignored. The Council of State presented positive discrimination as a group of policies aimed at making more for those who have less: subsidized jobs, measures to favour the male-female parity, and organization of the country.
The country’s intention of helping is not enough today. We need people to do it, to help those who work hard. Some companies are already giving their support by eliminating obstacles to social progress. However, if we want the private sector to participate in this task, the public sector and the State, in particular, must be real models. The conditions to let those who deserve it to get out of such situation must be created. Why not make more of the best boarding schools, increase the salaries of the teachers who work in the tough neighbourhoods, reserving seats in the preparatory lessons of the big schools for the best students of the Priority Education Zones (ZEP)? Increasing lodging assistance is also possible to allow those who wish it to get out of the dangerous urban zones. In addition, we could develop a system of scholarships for the best students or state that the access to public services’ jobs should be based on professional activity and not on diplomas. Besides, we could make a special selection process for the inhabitants of the dangerous urban zones.
All these measures could bring about a change.

Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.

L’égalité réelle des chances passe par la discrimination positive”, by Nicolas Sarkozy, Le Figaro, November 25, 2005.