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SPD hails 'huge success' for centre-left in France

The Local · 23 Apr 2012, 11:58

Published: 23 Apr 2012 11:58 GMT+02:00

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SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel said it was a sign of an alternative to the austerity politics of Sarkozy and Merkel.

Gabriel congratulated his French political ally Hollande on his "huge success" in beating the incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday.

The Socialist Party (PS) French candidate took over 28 percent of the vote, compared to Sarkozy's 27 percent – the first time that an incumbent French president has been beaten in the first round of voting in 50 years.

Should Hollande defeat Sarkozy in the run-off on May 6, it would be the first time that the Socialist Party has held the French presidency since 1988.

Gabriel said such a success would show there was an alternative path out of the European currency crisis to the one marked out by Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He said the Merkel-Sarkozy alliance had chosen a policy "which deals exclusively with making cuts, but does nothing for growth, and which lets speculators in the banks and at the stock markets get away scot-free."

Instead, Gabriel suggested that Europe's ailing economies needed a large-scale economic rebuilding programme, like the one the US implemented in Germany after World War II.

"If we tackle the growth and job market questions with something like a second Marshall Plan for southern Europe, then we have a big chance to get out of the European crisis," Gabriel told German radio broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.

But Gabriel joined Merkel in expressing concern at the unexpected success of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who drew 18 percent in the first-round vote.

Merkel on Monday called the strong showing of the far right in the French election "alarming."

"This high score is alarming but I expect it will be ironed out in the second round," her deputy spokesman, Georg Streiter, told reporters at a regular government news conference, on the result of the anti-immigrant, anti-European National Front.

"The chancellor continues to support President Sarkozy," he told reporters adding that she "will work together very well with any elected president of France".

Story continues below…

"The last decades have shown that the deep friendship between France and Germany is completely independent of the people in office and has a very fundamental contribution to the unification, strengthening and development of Europe," he said.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Monday welcomed a French presidential run-off between "two proven democratic candidates" after a strong showing by the far right in the weekend poll. "Naturally we respect the electoral choice of the French citizens," Westerwelle said in a written statement.

AFP/DPA/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:48 April 23, 2012 by smart2012
Let's hope in a Hollande victory, otherwise Merkozy will destroy EU and will lead to a disaster (which is already happenining... German production shrinked more than expected in April - worst data since 3 years...) However a recommendation to SPD is to tell it like it is and share wioth Germans what Merkel is hiding, ie that Germany is drastically affected by the crisis too)
17:52 April 23, 2012 by The-ex-pat

a. One who is actively involved in politics, especially party politics.

b. One who holds or seeks a political office.

c. One who seeks personal or partisan gain, often by scheming and maneuvering.

Or a natural born lair who will blow smoke up your ass at every opportunity, tell you one thing and then do exactly what he/she wants to get maximum can gain.
21:14 April 23, 2012 by raandy
These two clowns offer pie in the sky. The austerity programs however unpopular, are the only real solution to a restructuring of the world wealth.

Good luck to this problem team.
12:41 April 24, 2012 by McM
SPD, Special Pirate Department faction, coming soon to a consumer outlet near you.
18:08 April 24, 2012 by Englishted

On what bases do you say "The austerity programs however unpopular, are the only real solution to a restructuring of the world wealth."

Things only get better with growth ,for example the New Deal and the Marshell Plan ,but please show your examples .

Back to the article ,I think the S.D.P. would find the French Socialists would not be prepared to enter a "grand coalition" with their enemies like you sell outs did.
13:44 April 25, 2012 by frankiep

Responses like the one you just gave are a prime example of why absolutely the politics in so many countries are so poisonous. Forget compromising, working together common solutions, or inspiring people to work together. No, for you, anyone who doesn't fall in lock-step with what you want is "the enemy". That us vs. them mentality might make you feel like some sort of "revolutionary" tough guy, but in reality all it does is foster extremism on both sides. Of course, if all you want to do is preach to the choir, which extremists just seem to love to do, then keep at it.
18:29 April 25, 2012 by Englishted

What then my friend is the point of voting at all ,if every party works together for the "greater good" , just look at the rise in wages over the last say 10 years and was the wealth created even a little bit fairly divided? ,or am I totally wrong in thinking the gap between rich and poor is increasing? where was the "common solution ".

So I am sorry but from where I look it is still them and us ,I really wish it was not but until you can find a way to stop greed being "good" this problem will persist.

And any party that finds that acceptable and is prepared to join in a coalition just to obtain power is a sell out to their principals (see "new labour " in the U.K. ).
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