mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Bad Omens for Hollande

Mere hours after his inauguration, the bad news is piling up for French President François Hollande.

First came reports that the day before he took office, a group of French Catholics took to the streets to protest his social policies, which include support for gay marriage, euthanasia, and reducing funding to religious schools, according to the Wall Street Journal. These protests are still relatively small, but despite his victory, Hollande still cannot afford to ignore voters; France is holding legislative elections next month, and if he wishes to have more freedom to pursue his policies, the Socialists will need to have a strong showing.

The second bit of bad news was that Moody’s has downgraded the credit rating of 26 Italian banks. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has taken a technocratic approach to austerity programs and workforce liberalization, but the resulting collapse in demand is crushing Italy’s economy, bringing renewed danger not just to the country’s banking system but the entire EU rescue plan as well. This news comes just in advance of Hollande’s high-profile meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which is now likely to become much more urgent, and potentially more heated.

Finally, shortly after taking off for the flight from Paris to Berlin, Hollande’s plane was forced to turn back when it was struck by lightning. Call us superstitious, but this is a bad omen, to say the least. Hollande must be hoping that those Catholic protesters don’t have a special connection upstairs.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Kris

    “shortly after taking off for the flight from Paris to Berlin, Hollande’s plane was forced to turn back when it was struck by lightning”

    What’s the German word for “lightning”?

  • Maid Abusing Socialist

    And DSK’s attempt at rehabilitatation by suing the maid he raped/roughed up/swindled: good omen or bad?

  • Lorenz Gude

    Donner und Blitzen! Of course Gott is displeased. More seriously I think electorates are ‘hunting’ putting one party in power and then the other. The Germans are sick of Merkel and the Brits will tire of Cameron soon enough. Here in Australia Labor is struggling against an opposition leader no one thinks is ideal. (An understatement included for the amusement of any Australians who are listening.) In the US the choice seems to be between hamstringing Obama with a Republican House and Senate or the voters giving the Republicans the chance they gave the Democrats in 08. No one has the answers and consequently no one has the conviction to really try something new. Just pretend.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service