Now it gets interesting…we have a real rift in the EU, or at least the possibility of pushback against austerianism.
This election result was expected, but Sarkozy was gaining ground on Hollande as the poll date approached. From the Wall Street Journal:
French Socialist candidate François Hollande won Sunday’s presidential runoff, defeating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy after a hard-fought campaign that pitted two radically different personalities against each other, according to estimates of preliminary results seen by The Wall Street Journal.
The ballot was set to continue until 8 p.m. local time in some large French cities, but the samples of preliminary results show Mr. Hollande, 57 years old, had garnered between 52% and 53.3% of the vote. The center-right Mr. Sarkozy, also 57, collected an estimated 46.7% to 48%, according to the sample of results….
Mr. Hollande has pledged to pursue efforts to trim the country’s budget deficit to avoid stoking the euro-zone sovereign-debt crisis. With France’s sluggish economy—the euro zone’s second-largest after Germany—running short of growth-stimulating muscle of its own, he has vowed to seek outside help from the European Central Bank—something Germany is likely to resist.
And here it the critical point, that the Hollande victory is yet more proof that the public is sick of failed policies:
Mr. Sarkozy’s defeat makes him the 11th euro-zone leader swept away in the sovereign-debt crisis.
But technocrats are still driving this train, although France is a significant enough player, and more important, a key ally of the bloc of surplus countries, that we might finally see a shift in policies. Stay tuned.