Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that the crisis of liberal conservative parties is the crisis of the West, noting that people who believe that the issue only has to do with the failure of traditional parties are missing the big question – the decay of the West and Europe. "We are no longer the axis of the world and there are demographic reasons for this", Sarkozy said.
"The axis of the world has passed the West and today shifted to the East. Of the 7 billion people that inhabit the planet, 4 billion live in Asia". The former French president made the statement at a conference titled "The Future of Europe", which he attended together with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.
“Equal” Europe, Brexit Madness, and Strong United States
Sarkozy blamed divisions in the European Union on aging ideas, saying people need to stop talking about Europe of the last 70 years. "How do they see a single Europe with 27 member states?" Sarkozy asked, addressing the audience at the University of Francisco de Vitoria. "I see four Europes – Europe bound by Schengen zone, Europe bound by euro currency, Europe bound by Defence and by the Union – they are different."
"I believe equality does not exist and is not desirable. I believe we must imagine the future of Europe", Sarkozy said, adding that politicians should stop looking back to the past and use outdated concepts.
Both Sarkozy and Aznar believe that Brexit is madness and a historical contradiction, noting that the aftermath of the UK’s withdrawal will last much longer than people imagine. The former French president said secessionism is a poison and is a problem that plagues not only Spain, referring to Catalonia’s push for independence, but all of Europe. "I cannot accept the division, neither of Spain, nor of Europe”, Sarkozy said, adding that a lack of democracy favours secessionism.
The fact that the world’s foremost economic and military power elected Donald Trump tells a lot about the society in the United States, Sarkozy said. "I like when the United States is strong and leads the way, but I never thought a tweet made anyone strong", Sarkozy said, adding that Trump is not the cause of the West’s decline, but a symptom.