Political Leadership Failing France



Bonjour Tristesse: The Economic and Political Decline of France
Der Spiegel


The author argues that France’s economic and political stagnation is a direct result of failing political leadership in the country, personified in the current President Francois Hollande.

He states that France is enmeshed in crisis because political class is too elitist and out of touch and therefore unable to come up with fresh ideas to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

'France's plight was initially apparent in the economy, which has been stagnating for five years, because French state capitalism no longer works,’ the author argues.

'But the crisis reaches deeper than that. At issue is a political class that more than three quarters of the population considers corrupt, and a president who, this early in his term, is already more unpopular than any of his predecessors.'

He disputes claims that the key cause of France’s current problem are the failings of the European Union, rather it is the fixation among France political elite with the past, he argues.

He claims Frances' political elite, including Hollande, are more set on reliving past glories and extolling France’s history than focussing on making the country competitive and respected by its neighbours.


Thumbnail image: French President François Hollande. Jean-Marc Ayrault/Flickr

Mathieu von Rohr
Published Date
June 5, 2013