The 2012 French Presidential Election and the Future of the Fifth Republic
Foreign Policy Research Institute E-Note, April 2012
4 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 21, 2012
In 2007 Gaullism gained a new avatar: Nicolas Sarkozy. His election to the French presidency was based on a carefully orchestrated campaign to update this center-right ideology associated with French grandeur, a dirigiste industrial policy, and European leadership. Five years on the French economy limps along with anemic growth, public finances and the external balance of trade are woeful, whilst Angela Merkel calls the shots in the European Union. This is a dismal record, coming on the back of three decades of budget deficits and eroding global influence -- so dismal, in fact, as to question both whether the Fifth Republic created by de Gaulle is fit for purpose and what Sarkozy or his main competitor, François Hollande of the Socialist Party, can do to rescue it.
Keywords: French election, Fifth Republic, Sarkozy, Hollande
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