The uncertainty about the future was compounded in Sunday’s elections in Greece that left the two political mainstays — New Democracy to the center-right and the socialist Pasok — with only about a third of the ballot between them as voters deserted them in favor of extreme parties to the left and right, according to almost complete results on Monday.
In televised remarks, the Greek Socialist leader, Evangelos Venizelos, said on Sunday night that Mr. Hollande’s victory would shift the balance in Europe. His remarks seemed aimed at sending a message that Europe needed to rethink its program for Greece.
His own party suffered its worst showing Sunday since its founding in 1974, placing third after New Democracy, the center-right front-runner, which also backed the bailout, and the Coalition of the Radical Left, called Syriza, which opposed it. The far-right Golden Dawn group, whose members routinely perform Nazi salutes, won 7 percent as angry voters turned to fringe parties to punish the mainstream.
Mr. Hollande’s election was closely watched in Spain, which has recently been in investors’ line of fire because of concerns over whether the conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy can meet its budget deficit-cutting pledges amid a deepening recession and record unemployment.
While Mr. Rajoy congratulated Mr. Hollande in a short note posted on Twitter, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, the Socialist opposition leader, was more exuberant, saying that Mr. Hollande’s victory “opens a new era and a big hope for Europe.”
Still, despite Mr. Rajoy’s public restraint, many analysts believe that the government switch in Paris will prove helpful for Mr. Rajoy if it leads to a loosening of the tough austerity diet that Berlin and Paris have imposed on their struggling partners in the euro zone.
In a season of elections, Britain’s Conservative-led coalition took a battering in local votes last week that favored the opposition Labour Party — like Mr. Hollande a proponent of growth, while the ruling coalition has committed itself to harsh austerity measures.
Referring to his own electoral woes, Prime Minister David Cameron said in an article in the conservative Daily Telegraph on Monday: “When people think about the economy they don’t see it through the dry numbers of the deficit figures, trade balances or inflation forecasts — but instead the things that make the difference between a life that’s worth living and a daily grind that drags them down.”
In a blog on the same newspaper’s Web site, Benedict Brogan, the deputy editor, said Mr. Hollande’s victory “gives the left in Britain a script to follow about an unpopular government detached from the people by wealth and austerity.”
“Mr. Hollande’s win, backed by the wholesale rejection of mainstream parties in Greece, the collapse of the Dutch government, protests in Spain and mayhem elsewhere, tilts the balance of the European debate sharply away from austerity,” Mr. Brogan wrote. “The right has taken a hit this week, the left is delighted. This will change the dynamic of European politics in far-reaching ways.”
As if to illustrate the point, Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, said Mr. Hollande “has shown that the center-left can offer hope and win elections with a vision of a better, more equal and just world.”
In Rome, Prime Minister Mario Monti, a technocrat appointed last November as the euro crisis deepened and who is regarded as a leading proponent of stimulus to nurture recovery, said the outcome of the French vote was a “call for a reflection on European policies.”
“Responsible public finances are a necessary condition but certainly not sufficient for the key objective: sustainable growth that creates employment and is orientated toward social equality,” he said. “For this reason it is fundamentally important that Europe urgently adopts concrete policies for growth”.
Mario Monti was born on March 19th, 1943 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Monti
March 19th, 1943
3 + 19 +2+0+1+2 = 27 = his personal year (from March 19th, 2012 to March 18th, 2013) = Uncharacteristic. Acting out of character.
27 year + 4 (April) = 31 = his personal month (from April 19th, 2012 to May 18th, 2012) = Controversy. Contention.
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