May 7, 2012
The French voters are probably the political avant-garde of Europe, through thick and thin. They were in the lead on the occasion of the 2005 European Constitution referendum. This time they put François Hollande in charge of leading France – and largely Europe – across the crisis storms, hopefully to safe havens. Probably the biggest game changer since the crisis broke in 2008.
Being an addict to French politics, I basically don’t mind that the French would play such a strategic role, as long as their country upholds its relatively high standards of democracy and such great journalism.
Yesterday, I even wished I was French just for the day – just to cast my vote as well.
I discovered there was no need – the French voted my way. But actually, I should be overwhelmed.
I’m Bulgarian and as it is common knowledge, my impoverished country puts a lot of hope in the EU for solving its problems. But these days no EU country has any serious potential, under the austerity pact, to invest in growth. And suddenly France, and I’m sure many others, now realise the only hope is the EU budget and policies. A very different situation compared to less than a year ago, when governments wanted to freeze the EU budget. And the Commission basically agreed – no matter what they say today.
I don’t necessarily insist that Europe is turning Bulgarian. But across Europe, we have more common nervous system than we suspect.