France votes for tax-and-spend Socialists
June 18, 2012
In the second round of elections in France, the public has voted for Socialist Francois Hollande’s party, giving them an absolute majority in French parliament.
Early indications have revealed that out of a possible 577 seats in the National Assembly, Socialists will occupy at least 320.
This means that newly-elected President Francois Holland will not have to reply on support from other parties, such as the far left or Green Party, to get his manifesto through, giving him free rein to implement a radical change in economic policy.
President Hollande has already been very critical of austerity measures and has publicly pledged to adopt a different approach to the debt crisis. The Socialist leader has told the French electorate that in contrast tor continuing to suffer tough cuts, a policy of spending to boost growth will now be initiated. This will include rehiring a swathe of public workers.
President Hollande’s opinion puts France on a direct collision course with Germany who steadfastly believe that spending cuts are the only way to survive the current problems within the single currency. And with the two powerhouses of the euro at odds, the eurozone may have found a new obstacle to overcome.
The final results of the poll have yet to be confirmed but the outcome does not appear to be in doubt, leaving President Hollande a clear path for his spend and save strategy. But although the French public have said a resounding ‘Oui!’ to the Socialist manifesto, many tired of cutbacks and austerity, the future will not be as easy as many believe. In order to pay for abolishing the cutbacks, President Hollande will have to introduce a series of tax hikes which are unlikely to be as popular.
But of course, France is not the only country to have been to the polls.
The Greek public have been voting in a second attempt to elect a new government after all the major parties failed to agree on a coalition deal first time around.
The whole eurozone has been anxiously awaiting the results of the vote after left wing party Syriza secured an unexpectedly high proportion of the votes with their vow to refuse to kow-tow to the stipulations set out in the rescue deal. Power for Syriza could see Greece officially default and ultimately kicked out of the single currency.
The full results have not yet been released but on the basis of the slips counted so far, pro-austerity party New Democracy appears to have won around a third of the votes. Anti-austerity party Syriza yet again secured a large amount of support from the Greek public, appearing to be destined to finish in second place whilst Pasok, pro-austerity party, has come third.
If the outcome is confirmed, the Greek politicians still have a lot of work to do, with a new parliament likely to be created by a coalition between Pasok and New Democracy, who share a similar vision. However, the situation could be clouded by Pasok’s insistence that representatives from Syriza are also included in the group.