Sunday, March 21, 2004

French Regional Elections

The results are in from today's regional elections in France and they show the Socialists on top with 40% of the vote compared to about 34% for Chirac's centre-right coalition. The Front National has garnered around 17% of the vote.

This is a sharp blow for the government and might mean the end of Prime Minister Raffarin. It's also a sign that French voters aren't all that pleased with reforms aimed at cutting back France's extensive social welfare state. While I have little sympathy for the current French government, their efforts (though relatively meager) to trim the bloated French system were laudable. That French voters have rejected them is not a good sign for France's future. It appears that the French want to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to economic realities. Does anyone really believe that a France, and an EU dominated by old school socialist economics, an aging population, rising Islamist influences and anti-Americanism will ever amount to anything?

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