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Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | Monday, October 8, 2012

Hollande disappoints Europe

After a week of debate, France's parliament will vote on the European fiscal compact on Tuesday. The left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung is unhappy that President François Hollande is doing little to realise his vision for Europe: "The president moderates instead of leading. He doesn't explain what kind of France or Europe he wants to create. He demands sacrifices of the people without putting them in a broader context. He doesn't say what he really thinks, but retreats into vagaries. Many French people are unsettled by such manoeuvring. Many Europeans are disappointed, whereas in fact Hollande could be a godsend for the continent. At last a top French Socialist has espoused the tenets of modern, pragmatic social democracy. At last a French president can imagine more than Charles de Gaulle's Europe of the Nations. Hollande is newly elected and has a leftist majority in parliament, as well as in most regions, departments and major cities. He should now push through his convictions for the good of France and Europe, even at the risk of annoying part of the Left and losing the presidential elections in five years' time.”

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