Monday, February 27, 2012

Elie Cohen Analyzes the Veolia Imbroglio



A discussion of the relative "competitiveness" of various EU economies. This post also calls attention to an interesting new data source, Eurostat's "macro imbalances scorecard."

What Won't Change If Hollande Wins?

Le Monde passes in review a list of Sarkozy-inspired measures of the past five years and asks which of them the Socialists will seek to abrogate or repeal. The answer is: surprisingly few. One can look at this in a variety of ways. First, there are certain objective constraints on policy. Second, there is more consensus than one might think between the two major parties. Third, Sarkozy's program was not as radical or décomplexé as is sometimes said, except in regard to certain symbolic measures, which the Socialists will undo, in order to pave the way for counter-symbolic measures of their own.

In regard to two Sarkozy-era reforms that are perhaps the most significant for the long run, the reform of the retirement system and the reform of the universities, the Socialists have been very quiet and will in fact retain the substance of both while introducing cosmetic changes. In the realm of foreign policy, France will remain in NATO, although the left criticized the decision to return to the organization when it was made.