Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sarko No Mo

Widespread European unrest is reaching polling stations in several countries today.   Most notable is France where president Nicholas Sarkozy has conceded defeat to new president  Francois Hollande, the first socialist to hold the office in nearly 20-years.

Hollande is projected to win by a nearly 52% margin.

"Nicolas Sarkozy, defeated after one term in office, became the 11th European leader to be swept from power since the economic crisis in 2008. But the defeat of the most unpopular French president ever to run for re-election was not simply the result of the global financial crisis or eurozone debt turmoil. It was also down to the intense public dislike of the man seen as "President of the Rich'"

Sarkozy's German contemporary, Angela Merkel, is also feeling the anti-right sting in state elections.

"Voters in northern Germany appeared to have turned their backs on a governing centre-right coalition in a state election, which was viewed as a test of the durability of Angela Merkel's government and a measure of its chances of re-election next year.

"The demise of the centre-right government which has run the state since 2009 is significant not least because the federal coalition is made up of the same parties.

"Voters' rejection of the alliance is seen as sending an important signal to the central government and will increase pressure on Merkel to end her collaboration with the Free Democrats."

Exit polls in Greece suggest the centre-right coalition government is in danger of losing enough seats to jeopardize its hold on power.    Votes are flooding into groups opposed to Greece's austerity programme.

"A Metron analysis poll showed the leftists gaining as much as 18.5%, more than the mainstream Pasok lead by former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, who negotiated the latest €130bn (£105bn) loan agreement reached between Athens and the EU and IMF.

"'That agreement now belongs to the past. It has been delegitimised' said Panaghiotis Lafazanis, a prominent Syriza MP. 'Our strong showing sends a message especially to Europe that Greeks have rejected austerity.'

Lafazanis said Syriza would keep to its pre-election pledge to form a government of 'the united left' that would work to stop the fiscal remedies meted out to Athens by its EU partners.

The election, called by Lucas Papademos, the technocrat prime minister overseeing an emergency coalition for the past six months, is the most critical in decades. Not since the restoration of democracy in 1974 has so much been at stake, with politicians and analysts alike saying Greece's political stability and future in the eurozone would rest on the result.


kootcoot said...

So long, Sarko the Americain - it hasn't been good to know you!

ij said...

Polling stations in the UK have also been reached by change, this time on the municipal level with Labour making gains and the right-wing coalition losing ground.

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