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Socialist Francois Hollande Wins French Presidential Election

Socialist Francois Hollande Wins French Presidential Election

Socialist candidate Francois Hollande, a 57-year-old MP from rural Corrèze and “self-styled Mr. Normal,” won 51.9% of the vote in a run-off election and is France’s next president. Center-right incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy has now become the eleventh European leader to fall from power during the economic crisis.

Speaking in Tulle, the capital of Corrèze, Hollande declared that he will be the “president of all France.”

Hollande’s victory is a triumph for the left, at a time when European politics have drifted to the right and xenophobic sentiments have grown during four years of economic crisis. In his concession speech, Sarkozy said that the “French public has made its choice.” Urging his supporters not to jeer Hollande, he said that he took “sole responsibility” for the loss and said that he had already telephoned Hollande and wished him good luck amid “difficult challenges.”

In April, Hollande won by about a half a million votes in the first round of the election, taking 28.6 % of the vote toSark ozy’s 27.2 %.

On Sunday night, a gathering of supporters of the Union for a Popular Movement, Sarkozy’s center-right party, at the Place de la Concorde was cancelled. Daily Telegraph reporter Bruno Westerfield said on Twitter that Sarkozy supporters were indeed  ”told to go home” two hours before the polls closed at 8pm CEST. Grainne McCarthy, the Paris bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, tweeted that she spotted a worker preparing for a possible Sarkozy celebration who was wearing a Hollande t-shirt that read “Just doing my job and we live in a democracy.”

Meanwhile, Hollande’s supporters filled the Rue de Solferino, where the Socialist Party’s headquarters are based. Hours before the official results were announced, they had filled the Place de la Bastille, the emblematic site of the 1789 revolution. France’s last Socialist president was Francois Mitterand, who was re-elected in 1988. The right has held the presidency since Jacques Chirac’s victory in 1995.

Voter turnout was 80 – 81%, says Le Soir, lower than in 2007, when abstention was 15%, a point noted by conservative newspaper Le Figaro, which is running a prominent article on the “long and rich political career” of Sarkozy, who has been in politics for 35 years. His political future is unclear; in his concession speech, Sarkozy said that he would  become a ”Frenchman among the French.”

Sarkozy, who has served one term in office and has been viewed as the “president of the rich” by many, is the most unpopular French president ever to run for re-election. Elected in 2007 with a “huge mandate” to change the country, Sarkozy will leave office with an uncertain legacy, says Angelis Chrisafis in the Guardian. Over 2.8 million are unemployed; Sarkozy has been  routinely criticized for giving preferential treatment to the rich and for his displays of his own personal wealth.

Even more, Hollande’s victory is sure to occasion a change in Europe’s approach to austerity measures to address the debt crisis. He will take office without any “state of grace,” to lead a country with record unemployment nearing 10%, declining industry, a huge trade deficit and massive public debt — the Guardian describes it as “so high that interest repayments alone account for the second highest state expenditure after education.”  Hollande has claimed that he will raise taxes for those making more than a million euros a year and for large corporations, while hiring 60,000 more teachers in the school system and raising the minimum wage.

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1:43PM PDT on Sep 1, 2012


5:20PM PDT on May 24, 2012


5:18PM PDT on May 24, 2012


10:37PM PDT on May 11, 2012

Linda, Don’t let class envy consume you. Class warfare is repeated so often this site has become a hatred site. Some Christian religion would help you more then you think.
You ask about the deer? The deer is one of my pet Axis Deer, imported to Texas from India in the 40’s. I feed 80 to 150 wild, free ranging Axis every day. They became endangered in India, They are so populated here some of the ranchers are shipping them back to repopulate their native habitat. A lot of the game ranches here raise and breed various African animals that are now extinct in Africa. I don’t allow hunting here but I do put the cripples in the freezer, about 4 -6 a year.

11:10AM PDT on May 10, 2012

Typos...."Montreal", not Montral ans "shoot", not soot. Oops.
PS, stars to Robert. Stop the damned L/R bickering and cooperate. It's just plain stupidity and nothing gets achieved.

11:07AM PDT on May 10, 2012

Again David, the difference between us is just whose "lies" you believe. The media should be unbiased, neither left or right. You believe one group of lies & I guess I must believe another. You obviously believe everything you hear too!!! I might equally contend that YOU know nothing about other countries because YOU DON'T LIVE THERE. I guess the shoe should fit for you as well since that was your opinion of me. Unfortunately the world is inundated with news about the egocentric US while very few Americans have in depth knowledge of other countries. A lot of Americans are clueless as far as world geography & history except through the eyes of the sanitized &, I might add, very poor US educational system. The rest of the world knows much more about the US than the US knows about the world. I live 5 miles from the border & can't believe that Americans ask me how to get to Montral for lunch...@ a 10 hr drive. DUMB or what.
ALL RELIGIONS SUCK. They spawn idiots who see the world through tinted glasses & who assume, nay proclaim, that their's is the one true religion & all others are crap.Thus perpetual hatred of all others.Time to relegate religion to the dust bin.
Your avatar shows you feeding Bambi while toting a gun.Did you then soot him? Just wondering.

10:43PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Then stop watching TV David. It will rot your mind no matter which side of the R L divisions you happen to fall under. This country has had right and left since the country began. Your not liking it is meaningless. NO ONE side has helped this country without the aide of the other side. It will not change in the future. There MUST be compromise, or we will cease to exist as America. WE need to stop fearing the "other" side. The other side has been here long before either of us was born. If we don't cooperate we die. The choice is yours.

9:26PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Most Americans have satellite here too and get BBC Moscow RT and various world news. It’s difficult to watch when you know they have a far left agenda and is saturated with lies half truths and always just one side of a story. RT had a story tonight about the farting Dinosaur Hullabaloo and how they methaned themselves into extinction. They are as bad as MSNBC. It’s usually offensive to suffer thru their parade of ridiculous lies about our country. You have no clue to their lies because you don’t live here.
You are horribly mistaken comparing Christianity with Islam, they antipathy of each other.
Richard, When the government can fire the CEO of a private company it has been nationalized. As an involuntary stake holder we need to keep revising the loss to the government every few months. Had they proceeded thru a organized chapter 11 bankruptcy, the taxpayers would not have to keep rolling in the cash for GM and Chrysler. Our stock is worth about half what we paid.

8:35PM PDT on May 9, 2012

David, obviously we will never agree but that's fine as I don't live in the US so Obama, Romney, etc. are irrelevant to me. I also seldom listen to any US news as it is way too ethnocentric & all networks are biased. I listen to the BBC & CBC. Much greater WORLD coverage & documentaries. You see & hear stuff you would never see on US TV...real debates by reps of BOTH sides of foreign powers including the US. As for your dictionary, as I said, argue with Webster (American dictionary) not me. The definition I gave was verbatim. Gov'ts like Germany, Italy pre WW2 started as socialist & became fascist.
I repeat again, too much emphasis is put on nomenclature. It's the people who hijack the systems that are bad, not the systems. Please check out about the unneccessary transvaginal ultrasound rules several states are passing. You should be aware as an American even if it does only apply to women. That is both an invasion of person & rights for women. Demeaning & it instituted by Rep legislators in every case. This is called BIG GOV'T. This is also called irony.Yes, the middle east is right wing conservative because they degrade women just like the US bible thumpers are now trying to do.

11:59AM PDT on May 9, 2012

Obama has not nationalized the auto industry, He loaned them money that they are paying back. He did this because no one else would loan them the money. he was trying to save jobs…..not become the car company. Bush bailed out the banks and they have also paid back the money.

When I was a kid all utilities were nationalized because they were absolutely mandatory to our way of life. They all made shiploads of money. The ceos were all fabulously wealthy. We had the best telephone company in the world bar none. WE had that because what the company was allowed a 6% profit all the time. All the other money they made was reinvested in the company. Since it has been privatized that is no longer true. For Profit is not ALWAYS the best option. Thats why a blending of the two systems would work best.

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