Embezzlers be warnedFrench President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that this year there will be no amnesty signing ceremony on Bastille Day, the French national holiday on July 14.
Signing the amnesty document has long been an annual custom for the French president. However, Sarkozy will be breaking this custom.
His reasoning is that politicians granting pardons to criminals who have been punished by the legal system is not a good way to establish legalism. This is why the new president ignored a request to free 3,000 prisoners.
President Sarkozy refused to accept an established privilege. Granting amnesty has traditionally been a priviledge of victory in the presidential election in France.
Although some believe that his decision goes against the traditional French value of tolerance, many view his decision as a meaningful action that refuses to cave in to populism. About 73 percent of French nationals support Sarkozy’s decision. Tolerance is a valuable part of universal moral law, but the French think that tolerance cannot interfere with punishing those who break the law.
President Sarkozy has suggested various reform bills, such as reducing the number of public servants, reforming universities, and maintaining minimum services during public strikes. These all fall in line with his vision of making France a competitive modern country of the 21st century.
The fact that the president gave up his own power to grant amnesty and emphasized legalism comes from a basic belief that in a society where the basic rules of democracy do not work, it is hard to implement reform.
Korea is a country where the president expresses his condemnation of our Constitution by calling it a “damned” one, and despite illegal and extreme demonstrations, people are punished lightly.
People who receive bribes and those who evade taxes or embezzle money do not face imprisonment.
Our society is full of populism where money and power stand above the law, and the rules of law are secondary to fame and emotion. Those who ask for the impossible will make it happen eventually through unreasonable and repeated arguments.
A country where the law has fallen to the ground cannot become an advanced country.
President Sarkozy’s action, which made legalism a high priority to establish a new France, gives us an example of what a smart country can do.