by Onan Coca
In May of 2012, French socialist Francois Hollande swept to power, winning an impressive victory over his more conservative counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy. For Europe, it seemed a turning point; perhaps the beginning of the end for any semblance of conservatism and a move towards outright socialism. Less than two years removed from that electoral victory, however, socialism is now barely limping along. The policies that candidate Hollande promised to impose have been a crushing blow to an already distressed French economy. While the other nations of Europe have begun pulling themselves out of economic stagnation, France has done the impossible, and is actually seeing their economy get worse.
The French unemployment rate has climbed to a staggering 10.9%
France is having a tough time competing on the world stage, as competitor nations have begun cutting taxes and easing regulations in an effort to attract businesses. Some of these countries have also begun electing more conservative governments, making these pro-business decisions a more likely outcome. For France, though, a turn towards capitalism and away from socialism remains difficult because the government is a socialist one. Cutting spending, lowering taxes (or at the least not raising them), easing regulations, and making decisions that would weaken labor unions would fly in the face of socialist philosophy. Proving how difficult things are in France is the very idea that the socialists are considering these pro-business moves; but considering them and enacting them are very different things.
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