07 May 2007

France Has Chosen?

Nicolas Sarkozy has won the French presidential elections, it was close but he won, Bloomberg reports:

"Sarkozy, candidate of the governing Union for a Popular Movement, took 53.2 percent against 46.8 percent for Royal, the Interior Ministry said, with 96 percent of the vote counted.

Provided his party wins June parliamentary elections, lawmakers will be asked to vote on a budget that scraps payroll charges and income taxes on overtime hours. It would also eliminate inheritance taxes for all but the richest 5 or 10 percent and introduce a tax deduction for mortgage-interest payments."

His presidency heralds a heightened level of expectation, the "radicalism" that he employed, as a minister in French government posts was his unique selling point and now it may be his weakness.

For all the talk of Sarko as a French Margaret Thatcher, it is far from clear if he will carry out the Thatcherisation of France.

Sarko might, as Jacques Chirac did, talk a good game but when it comes down to it, Sarko might just prefer the trappings of power and ditch any radical programme.

If he does turn out to be a Thatcherite, then I pity the French people, as libraries are closed, the welfare state shrinks, medical services close and unemployment rises.

I can't put my finger on it, there is something malevolent about Sarko and I hope for the people of Europe that I'm wrong.

Oh and it is probably a good idea to visit France before the Thatcherism sets in.

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