It is widely believed that France has voted for change rather than a definite wish to have a Socialist government represented by François Hollande.
Certainly European politics will feel the after-shock as Europe votes “no” to austerity. Will Hollande live up to his campaign promises? Well he didn’t seem to make too many – he has promised to increase spending whilst balancing the budget, mainly through tax increases, he did not really set out how he intended to achieve this during his campaign, although he has promised to “squeeze the rich”.
During Sarkozy’s campaign he suggested that Hollande would lead France to the same crisis point as Greece if he indulges his spending plans.
Hollande’s relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks set to be difficult as they have opposing beliefs as to how to drive Europe out of crisis. He has promised to make growth rather than austerity his priority.
One thing for certain is that compromises will need to be found.
Those approaching retirement in France are looking forward to the possibility that the retirement age will be cut from 62 back to 60, and for the working population the working week will remain 35 hours.
Standard and Poor have said that France’s economic rating will not be affected at the moment, but the euro has already weakened.
No sign of celebrating on the streets in this corner of rural Normandy. The change of President comes at a time when there is already much uncertainty in France, job security is hard to find and the “crise” is touching everyone.
We’ll just have to wait and see.