The socialist party (PS), ecologists, and communist-allied leftist parties apparently won 341 seats in the first round of French elections. Conservatives of the outgoing majority won around 251. The far right National Front (FN) won two to four seats.
The leftist allies are the big winners in this first round of elections.
The French want more spending on social programs and stimulus packages as a means of stirring growth, but that will be hard to do given their lack of funds. France’s debt level exceeds 85% of their GDP. Hollande has talked about offsetting the limited “investments” with tax hikes (on the rich and foreigners mostly). I guess President Obama should run for election in France – he’d be the clear victor.
Andrea Merkel of Germany has flat out rejected the idea of continued excess and is committed to austerity. Hollande has supporters in the EU which include Italy’s Mario Monti, Spain’s, Mariano Rajoy and others. A compromise at the Eu summit on June 28th seems unlikely.
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