Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The "Official" Campaign Begins ... and Hollande Is Still Ahead

Yesterday, the "official" presidential campaign began, and the CSA began to impose still stricter rules on TV and radio discussion of the issues and candidates. And the latest IPSOS poll was released, showing Sarkozy and Hollande tied at 29 in round 1 and Hollande winning by a KO in round 2, 55-45. Slow and steady wins the race?

Meanwhile, Mediapart worries about "the Zapatero trap," which is real enough. It seems that no less an authority  on the EU than Jacques Delors is convinced that socialist government in any one country cannot succeed unless it creates "a social-democratic dynamic" across the Union. The Merkozy insistence on austerity will spell the end of the euro, the EU, and 60 years of institution building unless it can be effectively countered by continental restructuring in favor of growth, which depends not only on a Socialist victory in France but also on Hollande's emergence as a European leader of stature and inspirational qualities--in other words, a bit like Jacques Delors.

Was this speech the father's benediction to the son? If so, it was filled with rather ominous forebodings:
Jacques Delors s'exprimait sur la crise et traçait des pistes pour sortir la social-démocratie de sa torpeur. Le pacte budgétaire de Nicolas Sarkozy et Angela Merkel ? «Une usine à gaz.» Le «directoire Merkozy», qui domine le Conseil européen depuis deux ans ? «Si l'on continue comme cela, on tue l'Europe.» L'avenir de l'Union ? «L'Europe a le choix entre la survie et le déclin. C'est aussi simple que cela. (...) Il faut donc réfléchir à un nouveau modèle de développement.»
A "new model of development" thus far seems somewhat beyond the grasp of a candidate whose most recent blueprint for the future included such visionary items as increasing the back-to-school allowance for schoolchildren. But perhaps he will rise to the challenge.

1 comment:

Merlin said...

I find this idea that Merkel is the problem, and that it would just take a "leader" (Hollande, no kiding?)to move forward, totally stupid. Merkel is the elected representative of German taxpayers. She represents the, possibly flawed, viewpoint of most Northern Europe. German SDP and Danish SDP are more or less on the same line with some tweaking.

The issue is an issue of trust and confidence between sovereign countries and their electorates. Before moving to some sensible macro-economic policies you need to reestablish trust. German are not stupid. I don't think that patronizing them will deliver anything than bitterness.

Delors's time is passed and somehow Delors's method are the root cause of the current problem.

I am not sure that it is in the interest of France to align herself with the Euromed.

I'd rather align with Germany , even with a lot of reservations, than with the institutionnaly challenged south.