Hollande Days

Bad news for France, Europe, and perhaps, the world - Socialists have won the presidency of France, and the high-energy diminutive characterful Sarzoky, is history.  Mr Francois Hollande, now President-elect, has declared himself the enemy of banks, and wants a 75% tax rate in place.  He also opposes the German handling of the Euro-crisis, and seeks to end the austerity measures in France which mirror those that the Tories have adopted in the UK.  Hollande's victory will also lead to the rise of a far-right alternative in France, which cannot be a good thing - a trend we are seeing tonight in Greece, where the centre cannot hold, and thus more extreme alternatives are gaining public support.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I respectfully disagree, Todd. Sarkozy was a terrible force fomenting anti-immigrant hate in France and pandering to the Far Right when given the chance...why not let the Socialists see if they can't improve things? Also, anyone taking bets on Carla leaving Sarko now? Sorry...I couldn't resist...
Todd Swift said…
Sarkozy was not fomenting hate, he tacked too far right to try to win some marginal votes in the last week of the campaign, a trick Labour used often when it used its tough on crime stance, etc. He received 48 percent of the French vote, and anyone claiming support for this man's party is any way far right is insulting the integrity and decency of half of France. My actual concern is with Hollande, who may be a fanatic.
puthwuth said…
If a 'centrist' party attempts to normalise and do by proxy the work of the far-righ, whose fault will it be if voters choose to punish it? Surely its own and no one else's. To suggest this places the Socialists in any kind of 'extremist' symmetry with the far-right is a whopper of a false equivalence, I would respectfully suggest. PS I would happily pay that amount of tax, if I earned that amount of money.
Anonymous said…
Not formenting hate?! You must have a short term memory regarding his treatment of the Romani gypsies then. As to Hollande being a fanatic, have never heard anything quite so ludicrous.
Todd Swift said…
Listen, I am not a French voter, nor do I support every thing Sarko has ever done or said. Hollande's Changer de destin is worth reading, from the publisher Robert Laffont. Any politician who claims to be at war with the financial industry is a little fanatical, I'd wager - but then, I likely know more about France than you do, anonymous, since I lived there for several years, and visit often.
Il Beppe said…
The Recession [capital R] is soon to go the same way the 1930’s world economy went: into a Depression. In the EU, the printing of banknotes is a laughable attempt to salvage an already sunken ship. Adopting the failed tactics of the USA’s Federal Reserve is not the way to go. Plus, do you think you’ve seen the reality of the subprime crisis? Think again. Coming soon to all countries around the world is subprime part 2, this time it’s personal.

But wait… it gets even better. Adding to the woes are a stagnating housing market, currencies which have no backing [less than 3% is backed by precious metals], more debt, defaults, high unemployment [which is soon to rise even more], the failure of proposing fiscal unity throughout Europe [e.g., the price of bread should be standard], collusions, monopoly, the disappearance of the middle class [a trend that takes society back to the Middle Ages], protests, inflation, healthcare costs, the volatility of the bond market [yes, paying back over 6% is impossible], and I am just getting started.

Now, taking all of the above into account plus all of the aid the French government hands out yearly to its citizen, e.g., CAF or housing, how the hell is Hollande going to end austerity measures? The answer can only be one: to leave the EURO and take Europe aback to the League of Nations. With the constant turmoil of the world markets, France cannot just dictate the terms of the game. If the money is coming out of the German banks [and presumably out of the peoples pockets, i.e., retirement funds, healthcare, etcetera] can you blame the German government for being reluctant to hear out other bankrupt nations? No!

What has been happening in Greece has gone viral. Achoo! Bless you, but Italy, Spain and Portugal have caught the cold now. I guess this redefines the quote ‘when Europe sneezes the world catches a cold.’

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Il Beppe said…
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Plus we are forgetting what Sarkozy said earlier on in his Presidency: ‘les coffres sont vides.’ Hollande, you cannot cut from what does not exist. The law of mathematics states that you cannot divide a number by zero since its not definable. Plus, Mon Cher Hollande, you cannot print money without creating inflation [money wages versus real wages]. And if you try Keynesian Economics, i.e., a FED or central bank, you create deflation. The problem is western economy is in checkmate, and sadly Mr Hollande: you just chose the wrong time to become President because when the bubble bursts, you my friend will be known as the French Herbert Hoover. Wring a bell, anyone?

And the sad part Mr Hollande is that when you fail, which is guaranteed, you will be putting Mademoiselle Le Pen in the Presidency five years from now since as you know Europe heading to the right. Extreme right! And I don’t have to remind the world what happened last time that occurred. All we are doing is to set the stage for another Hitler.

The best way to avoid collapse is to let the markets sort themselves out without interferences from the government and to begin to back currencies with some sort of a Gold Standard.

And yes, Mr Hollande, before I forget: how do you plan to stimulate an already divided France? Look at LIBOR and other baking tools and tell from what hat do you plan to pull out the rabbit of recovery because sincerely I think you pulled the ultimate trick any professional politician can pull: to promise. ‘Les coffres sont vides’ for a reason: Europe sold its reserves years ago, and sadly, you cannot replace precious metals with human capital, which is something you have too much of because of ineffective immigration laws. Something, I think you’ll discover over the coming years. The problem is not letting people into France; the problem is that the people who come [to stay presumably] must have a skill or trait that can benefit society.

Socialism is not the answer. It’s nationalism: a nationalism that awakens a spirit of unity in these grim times of financial uncertainty. Please, do not confuse nationalism with far right tactics. I try not to confuse Labour [as in the party] with people who actually perform that task rather than just sitting around and abusing expense accounts the taxpayers provide. To tax the rich 75% is to drive away the wealth of the world from settling there since fiscal havens offer alternatives. Look at how the Burka ban has already affected the French economy.
The Editors said…
Todd, the fact is that the far right were already something of a troublingly mainstream presence within French politics, as the support for Marine Le Pen proves: the fact of a socialist being in office doesn't change that or render the problem any more pertinent. What Hollande's election does provide, surely, is a genuine left-wing alternative to the centrist parties, alienation from which provides the ground in which populist far-right rhetoric can thrive (the slow and hilarious electoral death of the far right in this country is a case in point: Labour are now a more viable option than they were a few years ago when the BNP had a groundswell of support in certain districts, hence the BNP are now an electoral joke). More importantly, it provides a counter-weight to the austerity-supporting status quo which dominates across much of Europe. If Hollande's programme wrestles some degree of democratic power from the banks and the IMF, and offers the chance for individual European nations to respond to the financial crisis - a crisis generated by the very same banks whose actions Hollande is promising to curb - in whatever way they say fit, irrespective of the wishes of those same supra-national, unaccountable, undemocratic organisations that see (nay, demand) austerity as the only 'realistic' option, then that must be a good thing, right?

Simon @ G&P
P. M. Doolan said…
I respectfully submit that you don't know what you are talking about.
Poetry Pleases! said…
Dear Todd

I too spend a lot of time in France and Sarko's unpopularity in Paris last summer was palpable. His bling bling lifestyle and gold Rolex watches have seriously alienated the majority of the French electorate. With the British local election results, it looks as though the right-wing tide throughout Europe is finally being reversed. A lot of right-wing commentators thought that Mitterand would be a disaster for France but he turned out to be one of the best presidents that they've ever had.

Best wishes from Simon