Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No État de Grâce, With a Vengeance

I turned on the computer this morning and there was François Hollande, newly inaugurated, standing out in the pouring rain in a soaking wet suit, in front of the Memorial for the Unknown Soldier. Wasn't he just there last week, with Sarkozy, in the sun? Well, tradition is tradition, I thought, but what an inauspicious beginning to his presidency. And now he must fly to Berlin, with Greece about to erupt and the Germans in a panic about losing everything they have invested in shoring up the crumbling Greek state. The cost to France alone of "Grexit," Greek exit from the eurozone, has been put at 66.4 billion euros, 3% of GDP, or roughly the cost of the entire French educational system, while the cost of keeping Greece in remains unknown. Not a pretty picture at all.

Welcome to the presidency, M. Hollande. Not even an inaugural ball, let alone a party at Fouquet's. Just a cloudburst and a ruined suit.

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