French President Francois Hollande’s Socialists appears headed for a solid majority in parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Here’s Andrew Strobo’s assessment of Hollande from the current issue of Maclean’s:
“Hollande, who has effectively been campaigning since his win over Nicolas Sarkozy on May 6, continues to cultivate an image of austere normalcy–a deliberate contrast to his ostentatious predecessor. He was sworn in alone, sporting a stern look on a drizzly day; there were no foreign heads of state, nor even his children or partner. He soon cut his own salary, and that of cabinet, by 30 per cent. Where possible, he travels by train. His motorcade reportedly obeys traffic lights. He wishes to be, in short, a reassuring bore.”
At the same time, Hollande has said that top of his list will be to put off a balanced budget until 2017.
During a speech today at the G20 summit in Mexico, British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to take a swipe at Hollande for backsliding on austerity measures.
The Daily Mail, which reports to have an advance copy of the MPs speech, says he will urge France to deal with its debts: “Countries simply cannot continue to run indefinite structural fiscal deficits without contributing to the fundamental imbalances that fuelled the 2008 crisis in the first place.”