French presidential election and its future effects in Eurozone

French presidential election and its future effects in Eurozone - ảnh 1
Francois Hollande will steer France in the next 5 years (Photo: BBC)

(VOVworld) - Francois Hollande’s victory in last week’s presidential election will have profound impact on  not only France, Europe’s 2nd biggest economy, for the next 5 years, but also the entire Eurozone. VoV editor Hong Van analyses the event.

Francois Hollande becomes the first French Socialist President in 17 years. In his victory speech in the central city of Tulle, Hollande promised to make an all-out effort to help the country escape the current crisis while creating equal access to healthcare and educational services for all citizens. The new president declared his commitment to justice, equality, and the younger generation. But it won’t be easy to honor these commitments with France mired in an economic crisis. The country’s unemployment rate is expected to top 10%. Last year, France’s trade deficit hit a record high of more than 70 billion Euros while public debt exceeded 1.7 trillion Euros, 5.2% of the GDP. His first task as president will be to unite all the people to weather current and looming challenges.

Hollande’s victory is a turning-point for Europe because France is the second biggest economy in Europe and Hollande has said he will oppose the EU’s austerity policy. Charles Kupchan, a Council on Foreign Relations expert, said that France's new president wants to reconsider the EU economic agreement to stabilize the zone’s currency. Hollande will likely pursue growth policies that could help him find much support from Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy but put him at odds with Germany on austerity measures. The new French leader favors issuing European bonds to deal with the debts of Eurozone member countries. This is a solution that Germany has emphatically rejected. There is a good chance France and Germany, as leaders of the zone, will have to resume negotiations on the European Budget Treaty. This is something German Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn’t want.

Hollande’s win could significantly affect France’s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Hollande has said France should pull out its military forces this year, 2 years ahead of NATO’s schedule. Following the election, NATO immediately appealed to France to honor its pledge to maintain its troop level there. NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said any changes in the withdrawal plan must be discussed and agreed by member countries. Mr. Hollande will officially take power next week.

Hong Van