Is Eric Cantona running for President in France?
No, Eric Cantona’s announcement that he was to run for President of France was actually a publicity stunt aimed at promoting a campaign of providing housing for the needy.
His announcement was designed to generate discussion over public housing in France.
It began when French newspaper Liberation released a letter on its website that announced Cantona’s intention to run for president.
The letter was an appeal to mayor around France for 500 signatures of support “in the framework of the political debate that the country is involved in”.
For a number of hours, French radio stations were dominated by debate surrounding Eric Cantona’s suitability for the role.
The Liberation then published an interview in which Eric Cantona admitted that what he actually wanted was for the real presidential candidates to support the Fondation Abbe Pierre, a foundation focused on working to house the poor.
The foundation’s director Patrick Doutreligne then revealed that the “campaign” was created to draw public attention.
“We told ourselves we needed an extra kick” for a petition urging presidential candidates to make housing a campaign priority, he explained.
This petition calls on the next president to regulate rent and property prices, build more public housing and other measures.
He added that they had approached Cantona, asking him to pose as a candidate for the presidency for a limited time.
“He will not be a candidate,” he said.