Bloomberg BusinessWeek

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No Honeymoon for France’s Hollande
Bloomberg BusinessWeek

As he promised on the campaign trail, French President François Hollande has become a leading advocate for pro-growth, anti-austerity policies to address Europe’s debt crisis. French voters, however, do not seem impressed. A poll released Aug. 23 showed Hollande’s approval rating has fallen to 49 percent, down 5 points since July. Some 72 percent of voters said Hollande had not been active enough in dealing with the economy and unemployment. Impatience is simmering within the very heart of the president’s electoral base.

So far, Hollande hasn’t asked most of his countrymen to make big sacrifices—but that is about to change. His 2012 budget plan relied heavily on soak-the-rich measures. The budget for 2013, though, will almost certainly hit the middle class as he seeks to trim the budget deficit to a promised 3 percent, from 5.2 percent at the end of last year. The government is already hinting that its 2013 growth forecast of 1.2 percent may be overly optimistic, which will make the job that much harder.

Yet if Hollande were to backtrack on his deficit-cutting promise, French borrowing costs could rise sharply. So far, investors have given his government the benefit of the doubt, with yields on French bonds at 3.4 percent during July.

Marois, tout comme Hollande, a promis de faire la chasse aux riches et de remplacer l’austérité par la croissance. Ce fut un échec pour Hollande qui doit maintenant composer avec ses promesses irréalisables.

Quand Marois deviendra première ministre, contrairement à Hollande, elle aura une porte de sortie… Quand l’économie va s’écrouler à cause de ses politiques et que le service de la dette va augmenter, au lieu de revenir sur terre comme Hollande devra le faire, elle pourra… blâmer les méchants Anglais pour la déconfiture économique du Québec !

Marois va utiliser sa destruction de l’économie québécoise pour justifier un référendum en blâmant les Anglais. Je ne dis pas que cette destruction sera planifiée, mais lorsqu’elle arrivera, à cause de politiques mal avisées, elle servira d’alibi.