“What President Hollande is seeking to do in France and what he is seeking to do in leading the debate in Europe is find that different way forward. We are in agreement in seeking that new way that needs to be found and I think can be found.”
Ed Miliband, 2012.
The graph below shows just how things have gone en France in the two years that followed. Growth has stagnated at zero for a second quarter, Hollande’s government has slashed its growth forecasts, and has admitted it will miss its target for cutting the deficit.
Allister Heath is worth reading in the Telegraph today:
“It is hard to exaggerate the trouble that Francois Hollande, France’s president, now finds himself in. It is not just that his popularity has collapsed and that his misguided stewardship of the French economy has crippled his country, helping to deliver a second consecutive quarter of zero growth.
The real problem is that France is slowly but surely emerging as the eurozone’s weakest link… There was a time when economists thought that Greece, Spain or even Portugal would trigger the real, final eurozone crisis that would threaten the single currency and potentially lead to the unravelling of the entire bloc. Increasingly, it feels as if it will be France that will eventually emerge as the euro’s biggest threat, though of course the whole rotten structure is likely to stumble on for years to come.”
What was that about “the choice“?