Cet article du Spiegel a été écrit un peu avant les élections françaises.
By Mathieu von Rohr in Paris
A Post-Election Hangover
The sense of paralysis that characterizes this election campaign has much to do with a largely unspoken truth: No matter who wins, within just a matter of days after the election all of the candidates’ political programs will prove useless. On May 7, after the post-election celebration, the French will wake up with a hangover.
Economically speaking, France is a sick country. It has a national debt that is running at 90 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and the country hasn’t had a balanced budget since 1974. France has the highest public spending ratio of the euro zone: 57 percent of its economic output depends on life support from the government. Unemployment is at 10 percent and there is an entire generation of immigrant children who are growing up in ghetto-like suburbs and have little contact with the labor market.
The second star of this election campaign is not a candidate, but a bald business journalist named François Lenglet. He achieved cult status because, during the special election editions of « Des paroles et des actes », he demonstrated to all of the candidates how preposterous their economic proposals were — often with the help of charts and diagrams. Granted, this didn’t put a dent in their delusions of economic grandeur, but it at least added some sense of reality.
Many candidates felt insulted. They are used to being fawned over by French journalists during interviews. Critical journalism, as practiced by Lenglet, is rarely seen on television. As for the print media, French newspapers are divided into two political camps: The conservative Le Figaro defends the government’s policies and attacks Hollande on a daily basis, while the left-wing Libération is campaigning for Hollande.