François Hollande the Pacifier

François Hollande was elected president of France on May 6 with a score of 51.6% to Nicolas Sarkozy's 48.4%.  It was not the landslide that had been predicted before the first round, and it was not the photo-finish upset I had guessed at (or wished for) in my article.  Officially inaugurated on May 15, President Hollande named Jean-Marc Ayrault as prime minister and took off for a rendez-vous with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  His plane was struck by lightning -- no joke -- and had to turn back.  He arrived late, had to endure a formal welcome in a chilly drizzle, and stumbled through protocol, politely nudged and elbowed along the red carpet by his graceful hostess.  Predictions, for what they are worth, are that Hollande and Merkel will reach a face-saving compromise.  He will back down on his refusal to ratify the Eurozone austerity plan, and she will offer some sort of growth rider to placate the masses. Meanwhile, sunny Greece is in free-fall...(Read Full Article)

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