French Presidential Election, 2012

Nicolas Sarkozy, a watermark was present that ...
Nicolas Sarkozy, a watermark was present that said « Photo : Jean-Louis Aubert ». (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With so much focus on the US Republican Race we seem to not notice the election over on the mainland that will have more effect on us then the result of that election. I am of course talking about the French Presidential Election. The first round of voting is on April 22nd. The current President, Nicolas Sarkozy, faces 9 opponents in his hope of re-election.

Those running for the Presidency are:

  • Nicolas Sarkozy (Union for a Popular Movement UMP)
  • Francois Hollande (Partie Socialiste PS)
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Left Front)
  • Marine Le Pen (Front National )
  • François Bayrou (Democrat Movement MoDem)
  • Eva Joly (The Greens)
  • Philippe Poutou (New Anticapitalist Party)
  • Nathalie Arthaud (Workers’ Struggle)
  • Jacques Cheminade (Solidarité et progrès)
  • Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (Arise the Republic DLR)

Much of the focus is on the main front runners, President Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. They are the two expected to make it through to the second round on the 6th of May.

The campaign is providing some interesting ideas, with a wealth tax, withdrawal from the Schegen zone and renegotiation of the Fiscal Compact all being brought up despite the financial difficulties that France is in.

France who was recently downgraded from its AAA has a big problem with its public finances. While it is not as in dire straits as Italy or Spain, it is something that it does need to keep an eye on. With its public debt standing at 90% of GDP and public spending reaching 56% GDP, France is trying to have it all without income to support it.

This of course is going to be the big issue facing the next French President. How France can continue to have a Swedish style social welfare system while not bringing in enough taxes due to manufacturing moving abroad due to uncompetitive pricing and while its population continues to show distrust for the free-market.

The next President is going to have to break a lot of promises if they want to avoid France being the cause of the next Euro crisis.

Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for SpirtualityIreland.org and UCC Express.

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