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Are we speaking disaster a la Bush in America? Is he going to try to turn things upside down here as Bush has?
Or, even if he tries, are the French ( especially the unions and the burocracy) too resistant to accept major changes in the French government and society?
I remember Pasqua as Interior minister in the mid 90's. He was awful, but not President.
Maybe we separate a new diary by someone qualified: "What would France under Sarcozy look like?"

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 01:52:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hesitate to say this, but a neo-con at the helm in France would spell the destruction of the EU as we know it. Of course, things could get gummed up in France domestically, but I doubt the PS would manage to turn around and win the paramentary elections, so any opposition to Sarko would have to be at the civic level.

Sarko would guarantee the first half of "things need to get worse before they can get better".

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:12:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think another approach to this question would be... how different would he be from (i.e. how much worse than) Chirac?
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:24:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems that afew just answered my question below...
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:25:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry Migeru. I meant to rate your comment a 4, not a 2.
I corrected it.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 04:27:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
worth listening to on this issue, but I learned in 2000 not to underestimate the destructive possibilities of a right-wing political leader.  Although they may look to be ineffectual, circumstances may give them a stronger hand to play than their abilities would allow them to acquire naturally.  Don't take chances, we look to Europe for inspiration.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 04:59:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That might be an idea, but let's say a couple of things here. You mention Pasqua. Pasqua was Sarkozy's mentor, his personal and direct way (very young) into politics in Neuilly. Sarkozy as Interior Minister has certainly continued in the repressive, security-paranoia Pasqua style.

Jérôme is surely right when he says (as he has) that Sarkozy is, finally, all hat and no cattle, and will end up being another Chirac. That's broadly true, imo. However, they're not the same generation and Sarko is a long way from General De Gaulle. Some say he's a neocon and see him as part of a vast conspiracy. I don't think that's the case, but I'd certainly expect a more Atlanticist stance from France with Sarko president. That would of course include a more pro-Israel line, and recent endorsements from neocon-like nouveaux philosophes André Glucksmann and Alain Finkielkraut tend to back that impression up.

In economic matters, Sarko is part of a much more neo-lib band of capitalists and bosses than Chirac's old-school lot. He would certainly, in the wake of victorious elections, pass "reforms" to reduce the tax burden on the rich (fortune tax and estate tax, income tax, tax ceiling) while reducing employee protection in the job market (new contracts, easier firing), and reducing unit labour costs by cutting payroll taxes on overtime, allowing employers to keep chosen (ie trained, skilled, productive) workers at work for longer hours, with an inevitable accentuation of the gap between skilled and lower-skilled, those with a job and those without or on the fringes of employment.

I'm not sure there would be widespread resistance in the first year or so of a new presidency (that would surely have a majority in the National Assembly, since the parliamentary elections follow the presidential and the tendency is to always give the new president a majority). How much harm Sarko could do before gridlock set in I don't know, but I'd really rather not have to find out ;).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:21:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy rubs shoulders with the racaille we have leading the PP in Spain. He looks to be terribly destructive. If he were all hat and no cattle he wouldn't be where he is today.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:28:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we need to use that word every single time we refer to Sarkozy from now until the election.  And if he wins, we keep using it.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:37:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the word is cult in France now as the word Kärcher (pronounced karcher). People say "salut racaille" to eachother.

"iznogoud président" is so much better (google bomb)

about Iznogoud read here :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iznogoud

by oldfrog on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 09:17:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some say he's a neocon and see him as part of a vast conspiracy. I don't think that's the case, but I'd certainly expect a more Atlanticist stance from France with Sarko president.

The European People's Party is a vast neocon conspiracy. But maybe this is just DoDo and I being paranoid and you and Jerome are right to be unfazed.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:34:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about unfazed. You're right (I didn't handle this aspect in my response to LEP below) that a Sarko presidency in France would have an extremely negative effect on the EU. And that, working with others (who may or may not get elected in other countries), he might be the straw that broke the EU camel's back.

But I do also think he's a big-hat man. Trouble is the EU is where he could probably do the most harm fastest, because, let's face it, there are so many others who are waiting for it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:44:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had lunch with someone who got to brief him on foreign policy issues. It struck that person how utterly uninterested in European issues Sarkozy was. Big league utterly. That person said it was scary for a future president, and basically enough to disqualify him.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:58:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That doesn't surprise me. We must dig further into this.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 04:35:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As usual the "resistance" takes form of huge rallies and strikes. Sarko embodies already the "nasty liberal" for the left.

That's what I am most afraid of. Because on the other hand it would split the French society even more. In my opinion there are plenty of reforms to be done in many sectors that have to do with the "public service", reforms that have been done in other countries with a more or less broad consensus. In France this would lead to violence and an impossibility to reform if done by Sarkozy.

The CPE fight is a very good example. The CPE wasn't very different from the contact that a a Swedish teacher signs the first year (imagine the horror in France) with the exception that he/she has the right to a "motive" for the firing. But in 90% of the cases, if the person is fired in Sweden (except for cases of economical bankrupcy, delocalisation etc...), the employer and the union agrees that there is a god reason (which is mostly that the person isn't doing its job). This is often rewritten as "incompatibility" which means that the person can keep unemployment fees.

Another example: in France "la sécu" (the overall health insurance) is tremendously inefficient due to bureaucracy and red tape. It costs the tax payers at least the double than it costs (compared percentage of BNP) in Sweden for a lesser coverage (causing the French to buy more and more expensive private insurances). Even with the "carte vitale", it's still very bureaucratic. Sarkozy could never solve such a problem because he hasn't the guts to attack the bureaucracy. The "solutions" will be taking more money from the patient's insurance by cutting reimbursements and increasing fees. Thus conflict. And the billions in deficit will remain.

The problem is that Ségo will do nothing to those problems either but will pass measures that we really can't afford. Both candidates are all hat and no cattle. And Sego is no more "European" than Sarko. So far her "europeanism" has been nothing but vague incantations that Europe must "get better".

who doesn't want that ?

by oldfrog on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 10:27:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually...

Teachers in France can be fired after their first year on the job, as they are "stagiaires" during that year. They also don't work fulltime during that year.

The counterpart is that it's actually much harder to be fired afterwards, obviously.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 03:30:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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