Greek, French Elections Sound Death Knell For Austerity
on Monday, May 7, 2012 by Inter Press Service
Greek, French Elections Sound Death Knell for Austerity
by Julio Godoy
BERLIN - The voting out of conservative governments in France and Greece this weekend heralds the end of harsh European austerity programs and ushers in an era of new economic, investment, and social policies aimed at restoring growth and employment across the continent.
In Paris, supporters of Francois Hollande cheer the results of the presidential election. Celebrations continued into the night in the Place de la Bastille, the iconic plaza of the French Revolution. Mr. Hollande told them: ‘Austerity can no longer be inevitable.’ (Photo: AP) In France, the Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande, a champion of government-led economic growth and employment strategies, accomplished a comfortable victory over the incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy – the man often seen as the poster child of the austerity programs in practice all over Europe.
In Greece, citizens penalized the two strongest, traditional parties, New Democracy and the Pan- Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), for their recent technocratic coalition government that has imposed a severe austerity plan on the country, which deepened the five-year-long recession and ignited a steep increase of unemployment and poverty
Instead, Greek citizens cast their ballots with the Coalition of the Radical Left, which obtained 17 percent of the votes, the Communist party (8.4 percent), and yet another Leftist party (six percent). A neo-Fascist group also obtained a minor, but substantial share of the votes.
Winds of change?
Particularly Hollande’s triumph in France is seen as the turning point in the current economic paradigm in the continent.
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