World View: Investors Worry for France if Hollande Wins

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • Investors worry about France after a win by François Hollande
  • Hollande's ultra-feminist 'companion' Valérie Trierweiler would be reluctant first lady
  • Conservative Samaras expected to lead in Greece's elections
  • Iran's election results indicate support for nuclear program

Investors worry about France after a win by François Hollande

Late polls show that incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy is narrowing the gap with his far left challenger François Hollande in France's presidential election on Sunday, but not enough for a win, so it's expected that Hollande will replace Sarkozy at the Élysée. For two years, ever since it became clear that Greece's economy was going down the drain, European leaders have applied one band-aid -- bailouts, bond purchases, etc. -- after another to keep the entire European economy from following Greece's over the cliff. As each band-aid failed to solve the problem for more than a day or two, Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel led European leaders to agree to a "fiscal pact" that would provide further bailouts and bond purchases as needed, provided that countries receiving aid would practice "austerity" measures that would reduce deficits. Hollande has indicated that he would abandon austerity and renegotiate the fiscal compact, something that Merkel has already angrily rejected. Interest rates (yields) on France's bonds have been going up in recent weeks, as investors express fear that Hollande is going to push France deeper into debt, though for the time being they're waiting to see whether Hollande will move towards the center if he wins. Telegraph

Hollande's ultra-feminist 'companion' Valérie Trierweiler would be reluctant first lady

On the one hand, she won't hesitate to slap a man who makes a remark that she considers sexist. On the other hand, she's been married twice before, and stole François Hollande away from his partner of 30 years and the mother of his four children, Ségolène Royal (who, incidentally, was Sarkozy's Socialist opponent in the 2007 election). Valérie Trierweiler is apparently not interested in marriage to her companion, and has rarely been seen in public with him on his campaign trips, telling reporters that they are not "campaigning as a couple." That makes her different from Carla Bruni, the glamorous supermodel whom Nicolas Sarkozy married while in office, shortly after divorcing his own wife. Stock & Land (Australia)

Conservative Samaras expected to lead in Greece's elections

The conservative New Democracy party, led by Antonis Samaras, is expected to get the most votes in Sunday's general election in Greece. He has an uncompromising character, and his campaign use nationalistic images, including Alexander the Great and the Byzantine church of Saint Sophia in Istanbul. But it's very unlikely that it will score an outright victory, with far right splinter groups stealing votes from him. As a result, he'll have to form a governing coalition with the Socialist PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos. Despite the polls, an unprecedented number of undecided voters make the result impossible to predict. Reuters

Iran's election results indicate support for nuclear program

Friday's parliamentary elections in Iran showed strong support for the country's religious leadership, and a new humiliation for president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has fallen out of favor with the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in recent years. The strong showing for the religious leadership is also being seen as an endorsement of the government's hard line on continuing nuclear development. Tensions have been rising in Israel over Iran's nuclear program, and there's a possibility that Israel will launch a nuclear attack on Iran's nuclear facilities this summer, while the U.S. presidential campaign is ongoing, and Israel would presumably be safe from U.S. criticism for the attack. AP


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