The political face of Europe is about to change. France's election of Socialist Francois Hollande could be just the start of sweeping changes. Extreme right French politician Marine Le Pen in failing to support centre right Sarkozy has shown that she is prepared to wait. Parliamentary elections are on the way for France and she is biding her time.
In a speech following Hollande's victory she attacked Sarkozy and insisted that Hollande would be no different. In almost wanting Hollande to fail surely the French will see her for what she is. Right now that appears to be a self serving politician who does not have the interests of France at heart.
Le Pen may be a more electable face of the extreme right, by comparison to her hard line father, but she is no different. A wolf in sheep's clothing could be a good assessment of her. She has gathered support from those who see migration as an issue in France. When economies struggle and jobs are lost such issues come to the fore. However it is not immigration carte blanch which she opposes. It is those who now live and work in France but who are non white also.
Francois Hollande will have to work with many political leaders in the coming months though and will not have an easy road ahead. There is no doubting that he is a genuine man who for once has his morals and heart in the proper place but will he be able or allowed to carry out his plans. For some he will be an idealist and nothing more. However there is nothing wrong with idealism if it fuels change for the better. It has to be better than more of the old jaded, self serving, cynicism. Perhaps what France and Europe need right now is a man of vision. Can Francois Hollande fulfil such a role?
UK PM David Cameron telephoned Hollande shortly after his election victory to congratulate him. This is common practice. Angela Merkel for Germany may or may not have done the same through gritted teeth no doubt. After all as successive governments across Europe fall to the unknown she will have to forge new political allegiances. Yes Europe is in for a testing time, one way or another.
Tags: French Election, Francois Hollande, Nicholas Sarkozy, Europe
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog