Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bayrou Announces

Le Monde reviews his career.

Trapped?

Has the PS been trapped by the "golden rule?" In order to meet Germany's demands, France must inscribe a balanced-budget amendment in its Constitution, and that requires approval by the Senate, now controlled by the left. Baroin made this point prefectly clear today. For Sarkozy, it might seem like a win-win situatiion: either the PS shares responsibility for this widely-disliked step, or the deal fails, France loses its AAA (which it will anyway), and the president can blame the PS for ... everything.

This is a moment for Hollande to show his stuff. Set conditions for cooperation. Demand concessions in return. Map out an alternative path forward. Will he rise to the challenge? Nothing is less certain. Boldness has never been his forte. But this is a test, and neither surrender nor reserve are options. He must take a stand on how the future of Europe and of France's role in Europe are to be defined.