CRP Blog

Sunday, May 6, 2007

France Moves to the Right

For the last six years, American liberals could count on the French government as an ally in opposition to just about anything President Bush would do.

No more.

Sunday the French elected an openly pro-American conservative Nicolas Sarkozy to be the next President of the Republic.

Sarkozy's victory is significant precisely because his support for the United States has been so brazen. Sarkozy describes himself as a "friend" of America, and says the United States will have an ally in France under his leadership. The Chicago Tribune characterized Sarkozy as an "unabashed admirer of many aspects of the U.S. economic model."

That model, of course, is based far more on free citizens exercising choices in a market environment than the French "economic model" which has managed to sustain sky high unemployment rates and an economy that is constantly under threat from the next labor strike.

Not that anyone is keeping score, but the Socialist defeat in France marks a further European turn away from out of control liberalism: conservative Angela Merkel is the German Chancellor, Sweden elected a conservative government several months ago, Nicolas Sarkozy becomes the new French President, and Tony Blair's Labour Party lost ground to British Conservatives in local elections last week.

Italy and Spain have elected Socialist governments in their most recent elections, but neither carries the weight within the EU that France and Germany -- Western Europe's most populous nations -- do.

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