Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The anxieties, misgivings about France's socialist president Francois Hollande


It is interesting that even before he has taken over as president, socialist Francois Hollande seems to be raising the hackles of the usually hostile and belligerent market-friendly idiots. They say that he does not have a definite and convincing plan to pull France out of trouble, they accuse him of presenting the business-as-usual socialist economic plan of tax and spend, and they say that he did not win as much as Nicolas Sarkozy has lost. The irony is there for all to see -- the people of France have voted for him. Hollande has won with a 51 per cent vote over Sarkozy's 48 per cent. That is a decent victory margin by any means.
True to the socialist flavour, Hollande seems to combine ordinary middle class-ness with elite education, which he has shared with his earlier partner and former socialist party presidential contender Segolene Royal. His present partner, Valerie Trierweiler, is also a brilliant student of politics from an elite institution in Paris. The socialists, at least the top section, seem to combine meritocracy and democracy.
Does Hollande have the solutions to France's economic troubles? In Europe, there is the general feeling that the way to fight out of the market blues is to tighten the belt and cut back on expenditure of any kind. Everyone points to the successful economy of Germany, and how German Chancellor Angela Merkel is running a tight ship. There is an open debate whether Europe's recovery can happen the German way.
Hollande seems to believe that the stimulus that the economy needs is that of creating jobs and of spending enough to create those jobs. Of course, the job-creation in its turn must help kick-start the economy. The diagnosis of the European troubles is that states like Greece and Spain, and France is in the wings as it were, is due to state profligacy. The states are burdened with social obligations which they are unable to sustain because of the recession and because of corporate chicanery all over. Private sector shenanigans, as in the United States, is at the root of the economic troubles. It is this that the so-called economists refuse to spell out.
It may be true that Hollande's tried-and-tested socialist remedies may not be effective, His success depends on his ability to prune and evolve his economic prescriptions as he goes along. Can Hollande display policy nimbleness. He may given the fact that he seems to have been quite clear-headed and nimble and straight forward and non-flamboyant in his personal relations, first with Segolene Royal, and now with Valerie Trierweiler. There is hope for socialist Hollande and socialist France!

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