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Let's talk about the French/Greek elections

I'm woefully ignorant on the topic, but I understand Greece elected a neo-Nazi party into Parliament?  

And both ousted their current austerity-loving governments in favour of anti-austerity ones.

Hmm, seems like nothing can go wrong with this plan, what with all the cash they're currently rolling in.

So what's going to happen to these countries?  To Europe?  To the Euro?  To the global economy?

Educate me, please and thank you! 

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Re: Let's talk about the French/Greek elections

  • imagewise_rita:

    I'm woefully ignorant on the topic, but I understand Greece elected a neo-Nazi party into Parliament?  

    And both ousted their current austerity-loving governments in favour of anti-austerity ones.

    Hmm, seems like nothing can go wrong with this plan, what with all the cash they're currently rolling in.

    So what's going to happen to these countries?  To Europe?  To the Euro?  To the global economy?

    Educate me, please and thank you! 

    This is exactly what I was thinking of this morning, when Hollande's election made the front page headline (!!) of my hometown newspaper this morning, and he was quoted as saying something like "the time for austerity is over." Hmm Um, did I miss something in the 3 weeks I've been gone? Because now seems like a great time for austerity.

    As to what's going to happen, I can only give an educated guess, as the EU is not my poli sci field (thank God). I'm a pragmatist, and my guess is that as with all politicians, Hollande's tune will change some once he gets in office. I'm sure he'll roll back some austerity measures, but he won't want the Euro to go under on his watch, either, so I think he'll end up keeping a lot and maybe starting some others under the Robin Hood motto (cuts to the rich, give to the poor, but if the amount you give to the poor is less than you're collecting from the rich, then you're still saving).

    I have no idea about Greece. Being holed up here in the US and having missed the national news for the last few nights, I didn't even know they had had elections.

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  • I have no idea about Greece, but the situation in France should be interesting. Hollande apparently wants to focus more on growth than austerity measures, which I would assume means injecting more funds into the public somehow. This would probably mean more taxes for the wealthy.

    For me it is a bit worrying because I don't want all of the wealthy people and investments to be chased off because he wants to over-tax people that work hard. It seems a little counter-productive to attempt to revive the economy by creating more services when we cannot afford the services already provided. (then again, I never studied economy)

    But I'm with Kelly on thinking that he will change his tune a bit when arriving in office, just like every other new president.

  • imagemyblueangel19:

    For me it is a bit worrying because I don't want all of the wealthy people and investments to be chased off because he wants to over-tax people that work hard.

    I was thinking the same thing.  If I was Richie le Rich I'd be planning my (monies) escape from France right about now.

    I agree with you both that these campaign promises of "goodbye austerity" won't - physically can't - be lived up to as advertized. 

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  • I agree with both Kelly and Blue. I feel like I must have missed something about Hollande, because the comments I read on Le Monde when the results were announced completely threw me off my chair. People saying things like: "We're saved!"...When I read Hollande's campaign, it really worried me for France's future, I could already see the economy sinking. I guess I don't understand what they are seeing. Some in my family tried to convince me to support Hollande saying that France needed change, but I don't think that electing another just to change presidents is not a good idea. 

    I really really hope I'm wrong, and that Hollande can miraculously make his proposals work for the good of the French economy. All we can do now is wait and see what happens.

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  • imagewise_rita:
    imagemyblueangel19:

    For me it is a bit worrying because I don't want all of the wealthy people and investments to be chased off because he wants to over-tax people that work hard.

    I was thinking the same thing.  If I was Richie le Rich I'd be planning my (monies) escape from France right about now.

    I agree with you both that these campaign promises of "goodbye austerity" won't - physically can't - be lived up to as advertized. 

    The Economist had an editorial in last week's issue where they criticized Hollande's plans for growth instead of austerity:  http://www.economist.com/node/21553446. 

    A 75% tax on incomes of 1M euro/year would certainly get my Richie le Rich butt out of the country, even though I'd have to leave behind my McCafe...

  • imageooolalalolo:

    The Economist had an editorial in last week's issue where they criticized Hollande's plans for growth instead of austerity:  http://www.economist.com/node/21553446. 

    A 75% tax on incomes of 1M euro/year would certainly get my Richie le Rich butt out of the country, even though I'd have to leave behind my McCafe...

    ::picks up jaw off the floor::

    I mean, I'm all for the Trump proposal that would have taxed high incomes at the same percentage rate as low incomes, but making them pay 75%?!?! Way to chase them out of the country and ensure you have no way to fund your social programs.

     

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  • imagekelly321:
    imageooolalalolo:

    The Economist had an editorial in last week's issue where they criticized Hollande's plans for growth instead of austerity:  http://www.economist.com/node/21553446. 

    A 75% tax on incomes of 1M euro/year would certainly get my Richie le Rich butt out of the country, even though I'd have to leave behind my McCafe...

    ::picks up jaw off the floor::

    I mean, I'm all for the Trump proposal that would have taxed high incomes at the same percentage rate as low incomes, but making them pay 75%?!?! Way to chase them out of the country and ensure you have no way to fund your social programs.

     

     

    Exactly! I'm really curious as to how he thinks he can make this work...

    I know I have never been good at economics, but I must be worse than I thought because apparently over 51% of my country thinks Hollande's plans make perfect sense and I just can't understand how it can work. 

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  • I do some work in Greece, and I gotta say, the crazy (i.e. Nazi) and the backlash (anti-austerity) doesn't surprise me.  The most recent round of austerity measures passed by Parliament 14 Feb and just now being worked through the bureaucracy are pretty darn radical.

    I would not classify myself as particularly pro-union; however, the measures are such a drastic departure from the last 25yr+years I've gotta believe the civil unrest will continue.  

    It's really a Catch 22 in that things were so (to my way of thinking) 'generous' (aka costly) that now the country has to (i.e. virtual EU/IMF mandates) go to the other extreme.  They went from literally, socialist (and I don't mean 'British healthcare', I mean full-out, everything is unionized and employers can NOT terminate employees) to now, employers can absolutely terminate and reduce wages without even consulting unions.  The 14 Feb legislation allows employers to fire an employee today and hire him back tomorrow at, say, 75% less wages and virtually no benefits.  It's shocking.  May well be necessary, but it's fundamentally different than politics has been in Greece for 2+ generations.  And I can't believe full-out revolution has yet happened the mid-Feb '12 changes are so radical.  Seriously.

     

    image
  • During elections, they all have "fantastic" ideas (especially French Socialists) but yeah, when reality sets in, they'll sing a different tune. You can sell whatever you want to people but then when you have to actually deliver it,  it's another problem.
    image
  • imageLandOBiscuit:
    During elections, they all have "fantastic" ideas (especially French Socialists) but yeah, when reality sets in, they'll sing a different tune. You can sell whatever you want to people but then when you have to actually deliver it,  it's another problem.

    Spain's president Mariano Rajoy had some great quotes yesterday during an interview: 

    •  ?No hemos cambiado nuestro programa sino que hemos modificado el ritmo de cumplimiento?
    • ?Prefiero no subir el IVA en 2013 pero si tengo que hacerlo, lo har??
    • ?Quiero bajar los impuestos pero no puedo hacer lo que me gustar?a?

    • ?Cre?amos que nos ?bamos a encontrar una gripe y nos hemos encontrado una neumon?a?, dice Rajoy sobre el estado de las cuentas p?blicas

    (Source: http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2012/05/07/actualidad/1336375123_498143.html)

     - We haven't changed our platform, we've modified the pace of getting things done.

    - I prefer not to raise sales taxes in 2012, but if I have to I will.

    - I want to lower taxes but I can't do whatever I want. 

    - "We thought we were going to find a case of the flu, but we found pneumonia" said Rajoy about the State's accounts.

     

    It's been funny, in a very sad way, over the last 100+ days, listening to the president say the exact opposite of what he did during campaigns. I wonder if I would be as anxious in another country as I am here - being constantly worried friggin' sucks.

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