I sincerely hope that France does not go down the far left path it appears to be veering towards. Because if the socialist platform espoused by Segolene Royal, the Presidential candidate of the left-wing Socialist party, becomes reality, it will be a tremendous global setback for free trade and Spend Management practices. And it will also doom the French economy (at least in this blogger's mind), potentially pulling down the rest of the EU with it.
In a recent speech announcing her candidacy, Royal remarked that the European Union should "protect its citizens" and that she would lobby for the European Central Bank to consider not just inflation but also employment and growth when it sets interest rates. My translation here is that Royal would move to raise tariffs and taxes on imports, fine companies for doing business with non-EU companies if it was "not in the interest of the people", and promote a general environment that is hostile to cost cutting and business growth.
Perhaps what is even more scary is how "Royal would abolish a flexible work contract for small companies". In other words, that small manufacturer or services firm owner who is debating whether or not to make a new hire would essentially have to sign over the rights to their first-born should they choose to extend the job offer.