by Agnes a Paris
Fri Feb 3rd, 2006 at 06:04:59 AM EST
France is much heralded this Thursday in the Financial Times, between the Mittal take-over on Arcelor, the on-going predicament of Thierry Breton and an article dedicated to Ségolène (a typical "bourgeois" first name) Royal.
Ségolène endorses many of Tony Blair's ideas, in particular his success in curbing youth unemployment through more "flexibility" and "security".
How do we feel, in France and abroad, about having a pro-Blair candidate for the next Presidential election ?
From the diaries, with format edit ~ whataboutbob
The first stage will be the pre-selection caucus next September where her major adversary will be her partner and father of her children, François Hollande. That first stage is sure to be interesting as Ségolène declared that François and her, partners since the seventies although not married, will decide "as a couple" who of them will stand as candidate to the caucus.
Notably, we have two very different psychological profiles here. François is more likely to gentlemanly withdraw from the race in favor of Ségolène, which would also spare him the discomfort of a vote in caucus that could well favour Ségolène. Exit by the front door with the honour of having promoted his partner. Not being housted out by a woman.
Parents of five childern (or is that six) the Hollande-Royal couple may well be left wing, they are more of representatives of the gauche caviar than modernity pioneers.
The decision is not only about self-esteem though, it is also political : letting a woman lead a major party to Presidential election would be a premiere in France, a country still very conservative as to having "minorities" fill the political top positions.
Ségolène Royal, the rising star of the French Socialist party, is a keen admirer of Tony Blair and could draw on some of the UK prime minister's policies if elected France's first woman president in next year's elections.
For the rest of the article, dive below the fold.
It is a pity that I cannot seem able to include photos of Ségolène. You would understand better why she is so popular ...
Royal the favourite to reign over left in French politics