By Paul Roderick Gregory – French voters went to the polls today to winnow a ten-candidate presidential field down to the “right-of-center” incumbent (Nicolas Sarkozy) and his socialist challenger (Francois Hollande). The two will face each other in a runoff election on May 6. A Sarkozy loss would be the first of an incumbent French president in thirty years. It would threaten the German-French sponsored European Union rescue package.
The French election previews the U.S. November election contest between incumbent Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney in the following four ways:
- Both Obama and Hollande offer almost identical leftist platforms.
- The sorry state of the economy gives both challengers a hefty leg-up.
A Google search confirms that the U.S. media has largely ignored the striking overlap between Democrat Obama’s and Socialist Hollande’s electoral platforms. Today’s New York Times indirectly lets the cat out of the bag.
In its In France, Using Lessons from Obama’s Election Campaign, the Times reveals that Obama loyalists have been working behind the scenes to teach French socialists community-organizer techniques. more> http://is.gd/FAgNHG
- Is There Really Any Difference Between Hollande, Sarkozy, Obama And Romney? (businessinsider.com)
- Hollande, Sarkozy heading to French vote runoff (sacbee.com)
- What Sarkozy’s Defeat Means to the Rest of the World (bigthink.com)
- French election: François Hollande happy with narrow lead over Nicolas Sarkozy (telegraph.co.uk)
- Socialist Hollande Wins First Round of French Presidential Election (commondreams.org)
- Hollande is ‘scared’, says Sarkozy, as French election enters tense runoff (guardian.co.uk)
- Commentary: French Voters Show Their Anger With Sarkozy (freeinternetpress.com)
- Facing deep likability gap vs. Obama, Romney makes case for competence, Niall Stanage, Hill
- Voters prefer Mitt Romney on economic issues but Obama leads in likability, Christian Heinze, Hill
Posted in Business, Economy, Leadership, Media
Tagged Barack Obama, François Hollande, France, Government, Leadership, Mitt Romney, Nicolas Sarkozy, Super regions
By Desmond Lachman – Two upcoming political events could usher in a new, worse phase of the European debt crisis.
The first is the French presidential election, the first round of which was scheduled for last Sunday, and the second round for two weeks later. The second is the Greek parliamentary election on May 6, which could result in the formation of the weakest of Greek governments. more> http://is.gd/VuSTCE
- Euro crisis: of morality and bankers (theneteconomy.wordpress.com)
- Hollande and Far right surge in the first round of the French presidential elections (worldviewtonight.com)
- Eurozone crisis live: Dutch government on brink after austerity talks collapse (guardian.co.uk)
- Europe’s elites feel the backlash (guardian.co.uk)
- Eurozone crisis live: Dutch pass bond auction test, but Spain’s borrowing costs nearly double (guardian.co.uk)
- Dutch government becomes latest casualty of euro debt crisis (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Euro crisis, Syria diplomacy, NATO’s future: What’s at stake in French presidential vote, Associated Press/Washington Post
- Weidmann: Central bank can’t fix euro crisis with loose money, says deficits must come down, Associated Press/Washington Post
- ECB easing bets increase as euro crisis intensifies, Marius Zaharia, Reuters
- Worrying news: Dutch PM resigns as the euro crisis continues to claim political victims, Mats Persson, Telegraph
- Economic Gloom Deepens Europe’s Political Crisis, Marcus Walker and Charles Forelle, WSJ.com
By Harold Meyerson – The founding document of a genuinely pan-European politics isn’t one that unites the continent. To the contrary, the fiscal compact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel persuaded her European Union colleagues to embrace — with an assist from French President Nicolas Sarkozy — has given rise to bitter dissents both within and among European nations. The pact, which codifies fiscal constraints that will inflict years of economic stagnation, if not accelerated decline, on such debtor nations as Spain and Greece, has divided Europe into rival camps — the Keynesian leftists against the austerity rightists.
All politics in Europe isn’t local any more. Roll over, Bismarck, and give Clemenceau the news: The German chancellor wants to campaign for the French president. Mein Gott! Mon Dieu! OMG! more> http://tinyurl.com/7rl5pun
Posted in Banking, Economy, History, Leadership
Tagged Angela Merkel, Capital, Chancellor of Germany, European Union, Financial crisis, Government, Greece, Harold Meyerson, Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France
By Robert Marquand – A Nordic official sent to a top euro crisis meeting last fall came out complaining: When questions started percolating, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy disappeared into a room and emerged later with “answers,” the official said, that were the final word.
As Germany takes the lead and refigures Europe‘s fiscal operating system into its doctrine of austerity, questions and warnings are on the rise. more> http://is.gd/BX3y3K
Posted in Banking, Business, Economy, Leadership
Tagged Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, European sovereign debt crisis, European Union, Financial crisis, Germany, Government, Greece, Nicolas Sarkozy, United States
By Patrick Donahue – Some 157 billion euros ($203 billion) in debt will mature in the 17-member euro area in the first three months of 2012, according to UBS AG. By the end of that period, leaders have pledged to draft a stricter rulebook for controlling government spending. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet in Berlin Jan. 9 to work out details.
The key to the euro’s survival may lie with Italy, the group’s third-largest economy and the second most-indebted after Greece. The government in Rome must repay 53 billion euros in debt in the first quarter, about a third of the euro area’s total amount for the period, after Prime Minister Mario Monti passed an emergency budget package aimed at curtailing borrowing costs. more> http://is.gd/zu1MYB
Posted in Banking, Economy
Tagged Angela Merkel, Berlin, Capital, Debt, Financial crisis, Greece, Italy, Mario Monti, Nicolas Sarkozy, Rome, UBS