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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Eric Cantona for president?

It's unlikely that he'll manage to get the support of the 500 mayors necessary to stand in the French presidential elections, but former international footballer Eric Cantona is apparently seriously thinking about it.

Image (screenshot from BFM TV report)

According to the national daily Libération, the 45-year-old has sent out a letter to all of the country's nearly 37,000 mayors seeking their backing and outlining how much of an "engaged citizen" he is.

In the letter he wrote that he wants to collect at least 500 signatures to "send out a clear and powerful message; a message of of truth and respect at a time when the country faces difficult choices which will be decisive about its future."

Image (screenshot from BFM TV report)

Cantona is already a sponsor of one of the country's most well-known charities helping the homeless, Fondation Abbé Pierre.

And he has the full backing off the Fondation which launched a petition in September 2011 to make homelessness and the lack of affordable housing a major issue in the presidential campaigns.

"We need a stimulus such as Cantona to restore (the issue of) housing to the place it deserves in the campaign," the Fondation's managing director Patrick Doutreligne told Agence France Presse.

So Cantona for president?

Well it'll be an uphill struggle. Even if he manages to collect those 500 signatures needed to stand, there's the additional problem of financing a credible campaign.

And few will forget his last foray into the political arena in December 2010 when he called for a run on the country's banks by encouraging savers to withdraw all their money in protest at the role of the banks in the global financial crisis.

That day of protest came and went with few heeding the call.

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