‘Freece’

Europe had a momentous election yesterday. But it wasn’t in Greece. It was in France.

Greeks narrowly chose the “pro-bailout” party, the headlines trumpet. But that’s no surprise. The Greek public has consistently said that it wants to stay in the euro. But nobody in power, whether in Greece or in Brussels or in Berlin, has shown exactly how Greece can do so without suffering under crushing deflation and depression, which people don’t like so far.

The election didn’t change that impossible equation — nor did it change the fact that Greece is small. If the euro can’t survive a Greek pull-out at this point, it can’t survive much. 

The real news was in France, where new president François Hollande booked a big victory, gaining control of Parliament by a comfortable margin.

The voters’ choice shows that the French people didn’t elect Hollande because they were understandably tired of Nicolas Sarkozy. The French people elected Hollande in large part because they don’t want austerity. Bowing to this reality, one of Hollande’s first acts was to rollback modestly an equally modest pension cut.

France is not small — and how France behaves now under a socialist government matters more to the euro than whatever happens or doesn’t happen in Greece. 

— Nicole Gelinas is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal

Most Popular

Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More