French elections signal change
In the midst of the economic crisis and deteriorating situation in Europe, Sunday marked Francois Hollande’s victory in the French elections. Hollande’s victory signals France’s swing to the left with the new president representing the socialist party. In a speech to his cheering supporters in Tulle he declared that ”Many people have been waiting for this moment for many long years. Others, younger, have never known such a time. .. I am proud to be capable to bring about hope again.” Being the first Socialist leader in France since Francois Mitterrand left office in nineteen ninety five, there was a sigh of relief across Europe as he took office.
After Exit polls started to show Hollande’s 51.6% over Sarkozy’s 48%, the former president said that he held the entire responsibility for the loss and that ”I fought for the values of responsibility, and I’m not a man who does not accept his responsibilities.” The former leader said he is ready to “become a French person amongst French people,” trying to express his gratitude and admiration of his home land.
After claiming his victory and campaigning on a platform of reversing the cost cutting economic policies that France and and a majority of Europe has adopted, in his victory speech he vowed to keep his promises– “The first duty of the president of the Republic is to bring together and link all citizens to communal action…(and) reducing our deficit in order to control debt….the preservation of our social model to ensure to all the same, equal access to public services.”
Hollande also extended a greating to Sarkozy, saying that “Sarkozy has led France for five years and deserves our respect.” The former leader thanked his supporters despite the widespread anger over how he handled the economy.
With Greece, a prime example of where many European economies may be heading, are Hollande’s promises of reversing the cost cutting that much of the world has undergone a good thing? The people of France are definitely not afraid to show how they feel, which has been vividly illustrated over the past ten years through riots and social change, but are these economic reforms a necessary cut back for future growth?