Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bayrou in Marseille

François Bayrou in Marseille rightly observed that large crowds have often been misinterpreted as signs of strong support. He also accused the two leading candidates of conspiring to avoid the real issue facing the country, and again I think he's right, although I don't think Bayrou has faced it either. Because the main issue is not balancing the national budget but restoring French--and European--growth. On that point, Bayrou has no more to offer than the others:
"Ce n'est pas à la dimension des foules qui assistent aux meetings que l'on mesure la vérité des discours qu'on y tient", a raillé François Bayrou. "Il est même assez souvent arrivé dans l'histoire que plus nombreuses soient les foules, plus gros soient les mensonges et plus graves les désillusions", a-t-il ajouté sous les applaudissements de ses supporters. "C'est d'autant plus vrai dans cette campagne présidentielle qui évite la vérité", a-t-il expliqué. "Nicolas Sarkozy et François Hollande mentent de concert, dans une entente implicite. Nicolas Sarkozy ne veut pas que l'on regarde son bilan de près et François Hollande a choisi de multiplier les promesses intenables", a-t-il accusé.


FrédéricLN said...

Thank you for reporting on this other candidate. His thesis is that investors (from single workers to billionaires) can actually invest in a country even if they are sure that their efforts/money will not sink into a national bankruptcy. Said otherwise, running decently public affairs is a precondition for growth.

Moreover, there are millions of people who would want to invest in France, and thousands of billions of dollars wandering in the world and seeking a place where they could invest. The still low rates of our State bonds assess that.

So, from Bayrou's point of view, a decent way of running public affairs and budgets is a safe road to new growth — (and, by the way, that does not require any kind of "austerity" in the sense of: cutting pensions, allowances or wages).

I understand it's not the strategy you would favour — but I would find a little bit unfair to think it's no strategy at all. After all, the last time it has been enforces in France (by Barre, 1976-81), it was very effective to make us go through the 2nd oil crisis.

The left will answer: yes, and very effective to loose the 1981 general election. The right will add: and install Mitterrand's administration, which lose in 18 months what Barre had saved in 5 years. Sure. I have no solution against that.

Stephane MOT said...

Indeed, balancing the budget is one thing, and restoring growth another. But it's also about restoring the Republic.
Unlike most European leaders, Sarkozy won't lose because of the economy but because of the way he betrayed the very essence of the nation ("2012 Presidential Elections in France - It's not the economy, stupid").
Any center-right moderate reformer (ie a Fillon or a Juppe) could have defeated Hollande, but Sarkozy decided to go because he thought he could win, and didn't realize he disqualified himself as a person, regardless of his 'bilan'.