Skip to comments.The tide has turned in Europe
Posted on 04/23/2012 9:00:51 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
For the European press, the first round of the French presidential election has one winner Marine Le Pen of the far-right Front National and two losers, the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany.
The runoff election which pits Socialist François Hollande and conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy was long anticipated by opinion polls, which, in recent days placed Hollande as the frontrunner. The high score of the far-right National Front candidate, Marine Le Pen, however, came as a surprise. With nearly 20% of the vote, Le Pen will weigh on Sarkozy's campaign.
For the Financial Times Deutschland, Nicolas Sarkozy's second place score is a "humiliation" which shows the "brutal rejection" to which he is subjected. The German daily says that the first round is "not just a result, it is a verdict against a president unable to accomplish the necessary reforms". Convinced that the French want to get rid of Sarkozy at all cost, the FTD notes that François Hollande could have just the pragmatic skills essential to getting out of the crisis -
The results of this first round brings a major opportunity and, at the same time, a greater risk. Paradoxically, this opportunity is hidden behind Hollande's bland appearance and his un-dynamic personality. If there is no miracle in the next two weeks, France will get a boring president to replace someone who is constantly self-promoting. But with his reserve and his lack of determination, Hollande may be more capable than his predecessor at launching a pragmatic policy of necessary reforms to lift the country out of the debt crisis and of its economic misery."
In Warsaw, Marek Magierowski, leader writer for Polish daily Rzeczpospolita, says that "Nicholas Sarkozy is tottering". The incumbent, he writes -
"... will have trouble rallying supporters of Marine Le Pen, most of whom will probably abstain in two weeks' time. If Sarkozy wants to dream of re-election he must put everything at stake and move further to the right. Considerably more to the right. If he wants to win, he must become a lepenist, if only for a while."
Spanish daily El País, for its part, says that the effects of the French vote go beyond the country's borders. According to the paper -
"... all of Europe is concerned by this election which opposes two different conceptions of integration at the continental level. Although in the final stages, Sarkozy's position was closer to Hollande's regarding the need to develop growth policies and not only asphyxiating austerity measures, they are separated by other issues such as the control of immigration in the European Union. It would be paradoxical if [conservative Spanish Prime Minister Mariano] Rajoy's main ally within the EU ended up being a Socialist in the Elysée [the French presidential mansion]. Even if only for appearances as was the case with Sarkozy and [former Spanish PM, Socialist José Luis] Zapatero."
Greek daily To Vima sees the French vote as "a lesson for Germany". "Nicolas Sarkozy's defeat is not just his defeat, but also that of German policies," the paper says. "Policies that he faithfully supported ". This first major election since the signing of the EU Budget Pact sends two messages, To Vima explains -
"First, that Germany's role as leader in Europe is the central theme that divides the French electorate. Then that the French people are feeling the consequences of the policies imposed on Europe by Germany, even if it is less hard hit [...] If a Sarkozy defeat is confirmed by the runoff and if France changes president, that does not mean that the new head of state will actually react to Germany's European dictates. Particularly because the financial markets will soon threaten France with high interest rates if it does not adapt to German policies [...] Europe is thus turning against Germany. Because it is possible to scare governments but not the people. That is why, whether or not François Hollande is elected, it is the beginning of the end for German dictates. "
“Marine Le Pen of the far-right Front National”.
If you are not soaked in socialism, you immediately fall off the cliff into ....gasp.... “Far Right” Land
I wouldn’t mind seeing Sarkozy go extreme right and then win the election.
Germany doesn’t lose here. They get to be the ultimate top dog in the EU.
This morning I posted an explanation of why it was hard for Le Pen to get on the ballot.
She had to get 500 signatures. Sounds easy, but it was 500 signatures of Mayors & representatives. Pro POLS.
They call it parrainages.
A question of parrainages (French election filtering)
I have to wonder about the extent to which the unnecessary, counter-productive and expensive Libyan intervention did a number on Sarkozy’s poll numbers.
If they reject vote for the socialist, then Le Pen becomes the leader of the right wing. Welcome back to the 1930s.
An interesting, heretofore unmentioned, perspective.
There has been mention that the Islams in particular were out to "get Sarkozy".
It is too bad that Europe only has Marxist socialism or Fascist socialism to choose from in political systems. I am glad the “right wing” here has a third option - the constitutional Republic to battle for.
By European and British standards a moderate democrap by American standards would be considered Right wing. Even the British National Party (extreme right wing British party) are a bunch of greeny weenie tree hugging liberals
This is a Walker vs. the union labor battle on a greater scale. And in this case the entitlement people are pushing out the conservatives. No wonder there stock market is plunging! It’s happening in all the PIGS.
The socialists already said that when they win, they want to renegotiate away the austerity measures Germany and the EU put on them in order to bail them out.
The thing is, Marine Le Pen is essentially a communist who also happens to be a nationalist who wants to stave off the immigrating Muslin hordes that are destroying the nation. In everything except immigration, Le Pen is far, far left.
Whew.... Weird paragraph right there.
First, why would a "lack of determination" be a positive thing? Second, how does a communist launch a "pragmatic policy of necessary reforms to lift the country out of the debt crisis and of its economic misery" when Sarkozy's France rioted after just a few timid "reforms" were passed?
The last paragraph makes no sense to me at all:
If a Sarkozy defeat is confirmed by the runoff and if France changes president, that does not mean that the new head of state will actually react to Germany's European dictates. Particularly because the financial markets will soon threaten France with high interest rates if it does not adapt to German policies [...] Europe is thus turning against Germany.
First, Europe has always been "against Germany". Germany is the big dog. Second... The author of that paragraph seems to be saying that the French want to get rid of Sarkozy as a way of giving Germany (and its "dictates") the finger. But then the author says "the financial markets" will whip France into following Germany's dictates anyway. I mean, it sounds like Crybaby Nation over there.
It wasn't that long ago that Sarkozy was elected on a conservative (for EU) platform because economies were doing well (5 yrs ago Sarko was BBQing with GW). Then SHTF financially.
It wasn't that long ago Walker was elected on a platform he proceeded to implement.
Hollande’s post-vote speech contained extreme class warfare rhetoric that sounded chillingly like Robespierre. These policies will be still-borne, since scrapping austerity is impossible: France is close to broke. The French voters are trying to piss into the wind. Germany will say “no” and France’s hand will be forced by the markets, just as happened in Greece and Italy. At least Sarkozy’s economic policies and negotiations with Merkel were substantially rational. Now France will press the accelerator to the floor as it approaches the brick wall: about two years away. Alternatively, the Social Democrats could replace Merkel in Germany and the EU could crank up the printing presses to fund everyone. This is less likely, since Germany will re-elect Merkel, and drop the Euro, rather than bail out France.
All of Europe’ major players, except Germany, have been racked with socialist/communist political tendencies. It is sad, really. I hope Sarkozy win by moving (and staying) farther to the right. Also, If Europe doesn’t accept the “German dictates” the entire EU will fall into a massive Depression, caused solely by their stupid welfare states.
Angela Merkel was born and bred in Communist East Germany.