France has a new leader. Leftist Francois Hollande narrowly defeated incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy and he’ll take office no later than May 16.
The victory could deal a death blow to the drive for austerity during some of Europe’s worst economic troubles, as Hollande campaigned on the idea that “Austerity can no longer be inevitable,” and he promised to raise taxes on corporations and the rich.
“[Hollande] still has quite a lot to prove” and it’s yet to be seen how he’ll tackle economic issues, James Coomarasamy, reporter for The BBC, told Here & Now‘s Robin Young.
“We know the broad outline… the question is when he comes up against opposition… and reality… perhaps some of those policies and promises will have to be rounded off at the edges,” he said.
Coomarasamy adds that the sentiment that drove many voters was a desire to get Sarkozy out of power.
“I think people are happy to be ride of Sarkozy, but nervous about Hollande,” he said.
Jeremy Hobson joins Robin Young as co-host of Here & Now in its new 2-hour format, from WBUR and NPR.
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