Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Reading Tea Leaves

So what does it all mean? A proponent of the "Non" in 2005 as foreign minister? A glib baratineur at Economy and Finance, arguably the most important post in this government? A woman of color from l'outre-mer at Justice? An advocate of "de-globalization" at Redressement productif, which ought to mean finding a way to ensure French competitiveness in the global arena but under Montebourg might well mean finding a way to keep failing businesses on life support. A Green, Duflot, at "Equality of Territories," whatever that is, and a specialist in public finance, Nicole Bricq, at ecology. Sapin, supposedly so close to Hollande, way down the list at labor, when he had been touted for Economy and Finance.

It's not necessarily a good idea to try to read policy choices from personnel choices, but it's not necessarily a bad idea either. The parity promise was kept. The Greens got a bone, the Front de Gauche did not. Moscovici's nomination provides a conduit from DSK, persona non grata but still probably the best economic head on the left, to the government. Hollande owed Fabius nothing but paid him handsomely anyway, a choice I don't understand. It will take some time to absorb all this. For the moment, I'm not thrilled. I would have preferred to see a frank recognition that the euro crisis is the paramount issue of the day. I don't see that priority reflected in the composition of the government.

7 comments:

bernard said...

well you don't like fabius and you don't like hollande, so i understand that you don't understand

Kirk said...

Remember that there will certainly be changes after the legislative elections.

bernard said...

today, France borrowed at lower rates than than previously. Unemployment is about 10%. Surely no priority.

Anonymous said...

"well you don't like fabius and you don't like hollande, so i understand that you don't understand"

Spot on!

FrédéricLN said...

" I would have preferred to see a frank recognition that the euro crisis is the paramount issue of the day. I don't see that priority reflected in the composition of the government." = my very feeling.

But I think Fabius is as good a choice for Quai d'Orsay, as Hilary Clinton was for State Secretary. He's just the other wing, the "première gauche", Mitterrand's school.

James C. Brown said...

I see Duflot as responding to the problem of the "dépeuplement" of rural regions due to the withdrawal of state services (hospitals, maternity wards, postal service). In some parts, like the cold, soft middle inside the triangle Rodez, Chateauroux, Lyon, there are parts which are becoming so isolated its almost dangerous for the old persons to live in the winter since the ambulance, hospital and bad roads combine in a bad way. And since they're too stubborn to move, and they're not a declining population, so to speak...As for logement, I see that as her reinforcing the role of the government in making sure municipalities respect the quota of HLM per city population.
Maybe I'm wrong, though and maybe its just a way for Duflot to something completely different.

Anonymous said...

I think it's awesome the republic is represented by a young woman of Moroccan origin (traditionally he's a man in his 50s) and that the Overseas territories are represented by someone actually from there, as opposed to a friend of the prime minister who enjoys travelling (the only thing I remember the previous one doing, and the previous one going to Martinique 3 or 4 weeks after a general strike started, promising something only to be immediately made a liar by the president).
Fabius is now in Hollande's debt and won't be able to mount his usual backstage shenanigans. Also it's a position he's wanted for a long time and for which he actually is qualified. In fact I'm struck by the fact there's no lame duck in this governement, no one who's there solely because they're friends with someone: I'm thinking of Jego, Estrosi, Morin, and Santini in governments past. Qualified does not mean good but at least it means they'll be able to do things right.
This is a book I intend on reading:
http://sarkofrance.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/coup-pour-coup-second-recit-de-la-campagne/
My first impression is that, being surrounded by "friends"/courtiers rather than competent people, comes at a price eventually.