The Corner

Chirac’s Bad Day

It’s been a disastrous day for Jacques Chirac in the second round of voting in the French regional elections. Results so far point to the Left triumphing with over 50 percent of the votes, followed by the Chirac Right with around 37.5%. The National Front is on 12.5%. In terms of the power they wield, France’s local governments are not that important, but as a political signal these results are well worth watching. Their message? That even the (very) modest attempts at reform of France’s welfare state launched by Prime Minister Raffarin are unacceptable to the French electorate. That’s bad news for France, and, quite possibly, even worse for poor M. Raffarin’s job prospects. Expect Chirac to start waving the white flag soon.

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