“Each country has a soul and France’s soul is equality.” Francois Hollande
Francois Hollande in a 51.7% win over the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy has been elected President of France proving once again the French Revolution is alive and well.
Running on a Socialist platform of raising the top tax bracket to 75% for people earning more than 1 million a year from 44%, Mr Hollande has shown that his party’s view of equality is somewhat one sided. In a country where the unemployment rate is 62.8% and the debt to GDP ratio has risen from 59% a decade ago to 90% this year, the French have shown to themselves and the world that the financial stability of France simply does not matter and the bitter pill of austerity will not touch their lips.
Appeasing the French by a pledge to withdraw troops by the year end, Mr. Hollande also is promising to force banks to increase corporate taxes on lenders.
Hollande’s rival Nicolas Sarkozy was able to limp out of France’s 2000 economic recession but left France saddled with debt. Sarkozy reliance on government debt, bank and industry intervention and preserving the country’s generous social welfare system will only be enhanced under Hollande’s tenure.
The French chose Mr. Hollande amid an election fueled by concerns over national sovereignty. He is the first Socialist in 17 years to win a mandate to challenge Germany’s Angela Merkel and the European Central Bank’s ideas to impose spending cuts to repair indebted European countries.