François Hollande became the first Socialist French President for over 20 years on Sunday night and the moment of his victory over Nicolas Sarkozy to declare a fight back against Germany’s austerity policies.
Accepting his mandate as French president, Mr Hollande threw down the gauntlet to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, who has made austerity policies a condition of euro membership.
“Europe is watching us. The moment that I was announced president, I am sure in many European countries there was a relief, hope at the idea that at last austerity is no longer inevitable, and my mission is to give to European construction the dream of growth,” he said.
His words, just after inflicting a humiliating defeat on Mr Sarkozy, previously the Chancellor’s closest ally, are a call to arms against the economic policies that Germany has enshrined in a eurozone “fiskalpakt” treaty
Answer with complete sentences.
- Who is the new President of France?
- Which political party does he belong to?
- Which policies is he against?
- Why does he say other countries will see his election as a source of hope?
- Who used to be the strongest supporter of the German strategy?
- Which do you think is the best way to reduce government debt – (1) stop spending so much with the result that unemployment may increase and tax revenue fall (2) spend more to increase growth and therefore more tax revenue?
- Do you think there is likely to be increased tension between France and Germany?
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