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Crisis Takes Shine off Hollande Victory

Champagne corks were popping in the French presidential suite last night after the socialists won a commanding parliamentary majority in Sunday’s elections. Following nearly a month of walking a fine line between drumming up support for his socialist party and placating nervous conservatives and investors, Hollande’s Socialists have finally emerged with a clear victory.

This is no small matter. The French system has one of the most powerful presidencies in the world, thanks to Charles de Gaulle, who was sick of decades of weak French governments and wanted to be able to rule the country in his own inimitable (and highly effective) way. When a French president also has an absolute majority in the national assembly, as Hollande does now, he has almost unfettered authority.

Under ordinary circumstances, this would be an enviable position for an incoming president. Now, however, the economic situation in France and in Europe is so dire, and France has so little wiggle room before markets start to punish its bonds and banks, that the new president is going to have his work cut out for him. Can he please the voters who bought into his campaign of resisting financial markets without driving the investors and lenders away that France needs? The celebrations are going to be short-lived.

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  • Jim.

    I know! Let’s see, what’s French for “laserlike focus on jobs”? He should repeat that nonstop while spending all his political capital on passing an enormously unpopular Healthcare Reform package that will be killed in the courts. Then as Europe collapses, he needs to repeat j’accuse Sarko! until (and after!) a recharged Right in his country hounds his party out of office.

    It’s worked so well over here, that Democrats are hollering that we need four more years of it.

  • Kenny

    Hollande cannot possibly square the circle that France is in.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    The wealthy are already leaving and moving their money out of the country.

    Socialism has never worked anywhere it has ever been tried, and some very serious people have tried to make it work and murdered tens of millions of their own citizens in the attempt (Stalin, Mao). The Government Monopoly suffers from the same malady that all Monopolies suffer from, they lack the feedback of competition that forces continuous improvements in Quality, Service, and Price in the Capitalist free market.

  • Kris


    Proposed edit: Hollande cannot possibly square the circle that
    The Hexagonis in.

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