The morning after Wednesday’s television debate between Nicolas Sarkozy and his challenger, François Hollande, the polls showed Hollande ahead 54–46 among those intending to vote.
After the first round the true loser was Angela Merkel who had given outgoing president Nicolas Sarkozy her full-hearted support. With her – perhaps hypothetical – goal of budget stability only attainable through great sacrifice, Merkel symbolizes orthodox financial management. But financial as well as socio-political developments are moving in the opposite direction, towards less stability.
The Merkel formula that presents austerity measures as the only cure no longer seems sustainable. The predominance of her criteria is clearly being called into question without, however, anyone knowing what could replace them in order to save the positive effects that globalization has had in addition to the many negative ones.
La Stampa (April 24)