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News Francois Hollande wins French presidency

  1. May 6, 2012 #1

    Ryan_m_b

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    The results are in, Francois Hollande is now the president of France. I'll be interested to see how the new socialist government progresses over the next few years.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17975660
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2012 #2
    Me too. H ran on an anti-austerity plan, I think. I'm not too sure about the wisdom and/or justice about austerity measures.
     
  4. May 7, 2012 #3

    Ryan_m_b

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    Indeed. The implications are interesting for the rest of Europe given widespread use of austerity plans to the point of them being key in negotiated loan agreements between countries, particularly with Greece (which is also having elections at the moment).
     
  5. May 7, 2012 #4
    I'd also like to know to what extent S's support of the Libyan uprising had to do with his defeat. I did support the arming of the Libyan rebels even though I'm a pacifist (sort of) and a member of the Green Party, but I'm not sure his support of the uprising played out too well among the voters.
     
  6. May 7, 2012 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    Admittedly it is hard to get a proper impression of the feelings prevalent in a voting population from afar but I didn't get a feeling that Libya played that much of a decision in this election. The main gist of Hollande's win and Sarkozy's loss is that Sarkozy hasn't delivered much in his time, seems out of touch with the common man and focused on austerity and immigration. Conversely Hollande focussed on growth, unemployment and maintaining traditional French cultural attitudes towards work such as early retirement ages and shorter working weeks.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  7. May 7, 2012 #6
    Did you forget to put the word "didn't" in your sentence? If so, don't worry, I make that mistake a lot.
     
  8. May 7, 2012 #7

    Ryan_m_b

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    Lol quite. Fixed now.
     
  9. May 7, 2012 #8

    mheslep

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  10. May 7, 2012 #9
    After reading "He wants to raise the minimum wage, hire 60,000 more teachers and lower the retirement age from 62 to 60 for some workers.", I feel like this guy is going to destroy France.
     
  11. May 7, 2012 #10

    SixNein

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    The problem of how to get out of a bad economic situation has a lot of uncertainty. Austerity has its own risks that are seemingly never mentioned. Likewise, stimulus spending has a risks too.

    One could say stimulus worked out better for the US then Austerity did for Europe. Of course, America might go off a cliff in a few more months. The election will decide if we will get a dose of Austerity or not.
     
  12. May 8, 2012 #11

    Ryan_m_b

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    It may do but things like this could be a great stimulus. I read an article somewhere recently (I'll try to dig it up later) somewhat related to this that explored the differences in American and German productivity. On paper the US would seem to be the bigger player: longer working weeks, less holiday, higher retirement etc but in actual fact it loses out to Germany. Moral of the story is that productivity is more than just how long people work. Give people more time to enjoy themselves and relax and apart from your HDI going up you'll get people spending in their free time, feeling less run down and healthier when at work etc.
     
  13. May 8, 2012 #12

    AlephZero

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    France is more of a philosophical concept than a country, so it's impossible to destroy it. From my own experience there is more than a grain of truth in the joke about the typical French response to any new idea: "That might work in practice, but it's no good in theory".

    Hollande's first big philosophical dilemma will be whether to support Greece or Germany over the Greek economic situation, not tinkering with the retirement age for school teachers or whatever. May he live in interesting times...
     
  14. May 8, 2012 #13

    I like Serena

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    I do not think just Greece will bring down the European union or the euro.
    Greece is too small for that and banks will have written off those debts - that's their specialty.

    A much bigger issue IMO is that other countries like France might follow Greece.
    France and other European countries really have to take steps to make sure their economies start growing again.
    Investing in education should help.
     
  15. May 8, 2012 #14

    lisab

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    Re bolded text: yes that's true, but there's a significant lag between the time you make the investment and when it pays off. I'm not sure the economy will wait that long.
     
  16. May 8, 2012 #15

    I like Serena

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    IMO the time lag should be about 10 years.
    France won't follow Greece in the next year, but it may in say 10 years time.
    The time to invest in the future is now.
    Pay-off may even be sooner in terms of the morale of young people.
    They need something to look forward to.
    Politically it is a daring move, since it takes so long to pay off.
     
  17. May 8, 2012 #16

    Ryan_m_b

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    Whilst I am always in favour of further investments to education I don't see why this would help in this situation. There is far from a lack of education in countries like France, what there is a lack of is jobs for educated people to fill! A disproportionate number of the unemployed are under the age of 25 and large numbers of them are university graduates.

    The problem is unemployment that can be countered with new employment regulations and economic growth.
     
  18. May 8, 2012 #17

    I like Serena

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    France cannot compete with China or eastern Europe in terms of production through low paying jobs.
    Its added value is in jobs and industry that require a high education.
    Austerity has cut down on education and with a certain time lag France will have to pay the price for that.

    What kind of new employment regulations are you thinking of?
    And how do you propose France achieves economic growth?
     
  19. May 8, 2012 #18

    Ryan_m_b

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    If you mean manufacturing then yes I partially agree though there are various policies in France that protect against this (i.e. for public sector contracts there is a clause for taking into account societal well being so if there is a choice between saving money and placing a big order with a Chinese company and not saving money and placing it with the French one they have to go with the latter) and other European countries like Germany have a thriving manufacturing sector.
    Yes I agree education is important and adds value to the workforce.
    Off the top of my head things like that listed above and maximum/encouraged work hour regulations (to spread jobs amongst multiple people).
    I haven't got a proposition. France is in a typical situation of having parties arguing for austerity and those arguing for stimulus. Both are a gamble but the latter is easier to sell to a voting public IMO.
     
  20. May 8, 2012 #19

    I like Serena

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    Protection of internal manufacturing business is an artificial measure.
    I do not believe in artificial measures.
    People tend to find ways around that and in the end it's the government (indirectly) paying for it.
    I believe France should invest in business in which they can compete internationally.
    It should outsource low-tech manufacturing to countries better suited to it.
    That's much healthier and pays off better.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  21. May 8, 2012 #20

    mheslep

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    Pass (enforce?) the obviously needed First Employment Contract, i.e. change the employment laws that make it nearly impossible to fire in France, and hence equally difficult to hire.

    In a ranking of economic freedom, France lands at 67 behind Kazakhstan and Bulgaria, due in large part to French labor laws.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
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