Regardless of ideology, Francois Hollande definitely deserves credit for hitting the ground running. Almost immediately after being sworn in as President of France, he was on a plane to Germany to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel, basically to assure her that differences of opinion can be resolved. This was followed almost immediately by a clear statement of just what those differences are.
According to a story
filed this morning on Al Jazeera English, taken from their wire sources,
Hollande’s Finance Minister, Pierre Moscovici, issued a statement that France
would not ratify the European Union’s pact on fiscal discipline in its current form.
That form is concerned only with austerity as a means for economic recovery.
Apparently Hollande and his team have taken a close look at what austerity has
achieved throughout Europe; and they have seen endemic unemployment, large
masses of protest rallies, and measures among the general public as extreme as
suicide. Hollande is willing to take the bold step of declaring that what is
good for financial institutions is not good for the general public and may even
be bad for them. Given that one of those financial institutions recently
disclosed a loss of $2 billion through “sloppiness
and bad judgment,” the timing may be right for Merkel and her colleagues to
consider that Hollande may have a point.