A Semi-Open Thread: What Do You Think of Francois Hollande?

I have to confess that I have been a little out of things recently. The end of the academic year, the grading, and the trip to Europe made it a little hard to follow the news. This is why I haven’t been able to form an opinion on France’s new president Francois Holland. So I am now asking those of you who have to share your impressions of him. Good? Bad? Better than Sarkozy? What are we to expect from him?

19 thoughts on “A Semi-Open Thread: What Do You Think of Francois Hollande?

  1. I am withholding judgement for the time being although I’m not too hopeful. The dollar has gone up against the euro already. Despite wanting to rein in government spending by reducing ministerial salaries, the actual number of ministers has increased from 32 to 34, so is this the shape of things to come – one economical step back, two spending steps forward…

    I read this blog (amongst others like The Slog at http://hat4uk.wordpress.com) for news on French politics and EU news:


  2. I think that getting rid of Sarkozy will ultimately only be good news for France, but I’m not convinced that Hollande has a viable alternative to austerity. I think he’ll squawk and fret but ultimately go along with some version of it, which perhaps the French will be more likely to accept just because he’s not Sarkozy.


  3. Hollande will be good news for all Europe merely by the fact that he the leader of the second most powerful Eurozone nation, and will able to realistically challenge the power that Merkel has over the entire European Union. Since the very begging of this crisis Merkel, the IMF and the European Central Bank have set terrible austerity plans on Nations such as Greece and Spain, without the consent of their Governments and their electorates.

    It is undemocratic and I am off the opinion that the EU is in need of desperate democratic reform, because it would be terrible to see such a good project die.


    1. “…that he is the leader of the second most powerful Eurozone nation…”

      “Since the very beginning of this crisis…”

      Sorry, damn typos


  4. Hollande is a sexist scumbag with no ministerial experience who dumped his previous partner, Segolene Royal, with whom he lived for thirty years and had four kids but never married, in 2007 and took up with Valesrie Trierweiler, a political reporter who had interviewed him, and seems to have no intention of marrying her either but keeping her as a Elysee Palace live in with benefits until he finds someone more interesting.


    1. I think that his personal life is completely irrelevant, don’t you? Besides, these women are free agents and if they didn’t feel like living with him in sin :-), I’m sure they could have always left.


      1. The point that I’m making is Hollande will treat France like his mistresses – expendable. He is a French Obama, says the right things and looks good but in the end will suck up to the financial sector. Listen to his victory speech.

        Aucun enfant de la République ne sera laissé de côté, abandonné, discriminé… Trop de fractures, trop de blessures, trop de ruptures, trop de coupures ont pu séparer nos concitoyens. C’en est fini.

        During his seven years as Mayor of Tulle in Corrèze region which is considered the hick backwoods of France and had the highest debt of any region in France, he made lots of budgetary cuts. His nickname was Monsieur Flanby, named after a wobbly caramel pudding like his politics.


        1. “The point that I’m making is Hollande will treat France like his mistresses – expendable”

          – But what makes you think that it isn’t the women who treat him as expendable? 🙂


      2. Certainly when it comes to Sarkozy people expect his wife Carla to dump him tout de suite (mucho pronto), given her declarations on the subject of marriage.


      3. Carla Bruni told an interviewer before her marriage: “Monogamy bores me terribly.”


  5. I’m a bit late in the game, but I just wanted to add that during the election campaign the Parti Socialiste has promised to give foreigners the right to vote (i.e. me), which would change the political landscape fundamentally, as foreigners tend to vote on the left. Here’s to hoping…


    1. You mean the non-citizens will vote? Permanent residents who don’t have the citizenship? Sounds like a great idea. I’d support it for the obvious reasons. 🙂


      1. From Wikipedia: “Residents without European Union passports would be given the right to vote in local elections after five years of legal residency.” I believe that would include first and foremost thousands of immigrants from the Maghreb who have been denied citizenship for ages, even though they have been legally living and working in France.


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