‘Austerity No Longer Inevitable,’ Hollande Says
Celebrating his victory over Nicolas Sarkozy in a cast of votes that defined France’s abomination on austerity, Socialist-elect president Francois Hollande has vowed this belt-tightening measure “can no longer be inevitable.”
The new authorities that are riding the powerful seats in Greece and France are now seeing no reason to hold back their desire to banish austerity measures that the previous regimes offered as an answer to the debt crisis.
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel sounded a different tune.
“We in Germany, and I personally, believe the fiscal pact is not up for negotiation,” she said, rejecting Hollande’s call to reconsider a treaty signed last month regarding the tough control on government deficits.
Meanwhile, in partial results released yesterday in Italy, Premier Mario Monti is likely to be facing a juggernaut as there seems to be no stopping to the rise of anti-austerity candidates.
“Analysts were watching for signs of voter anger in two days of balloting over Monti’s austerity measures and toward mainstream parties that have supported them since Monti took over from Silvio Berlusconi in November,” Bloomberg reported.
“The candidate for mayor in Parma, who galvanized discontent with mainstream politics, appeared to gain enough votes to force a runoff, projections based on partial results showed. In Genoa, a left-wing candidate who in the primaries defeated the candidates of mainstream center-left parties, appeared on the way to being the largest vote-getter, although it was still unclear if a runoff would be avoided,” the report said.
“And the popular mayor of Verona, whose Northern League party has strongly opposed a new housing tax, appeared headed to a first round victory,” it added.
Around 9.5 million Italians were eligible to vote for 942 city councils and mayorships.
In Greece, attempts to form a new coalition government failed after anti-austerity voters turned down parties supporting the country’s bailout abroad. This has raised questions over Greece’s capacity to remain in the euro currency bloc while it is likely to face another poll next month.