What will come of Sarkozy?
U.S. News and World Report gives us a report on President Sarkozy's brief time in office and his prospects for success.
According to the story, Parliament has already passed the initiative to allow for overtime. I did not catch this reading the wires, but good news nonetheless. This would water down the 35-hour workweek. The other intitatives I am interested in are the 50
% tax ceiling and the measure to curb public strikes. This agenda could just as soon be derailed by the "street veto". France has a history of the Unions, the students, and the scum of striking, marching, and generally raising hell simultaneously which has forced previous governments to repeal laws.
The President has also promised action on Darfur. Apparently he is going the route of an AU peacekeeping force through the United Nations.
On the political front, there is reason for optimism. Sarko enjoys about a 66% approval rating. His bipartisan cabinet strategy is looking wonderful. He is taking talent away from the Socialist Party, and surely providing headaches down at SP headquarters. It also looks good because it fulfills Sarkozy's rhetoric about the value of merit. Let me say also of the cabinet, it is the most diverse in French history. The Left in France has given lip service to diversity and they have called Nicolas Sarkozy a racist. It is apparent now that the Socialists flap their gums, while Nick Sarkozy follows through on his promises. Back to the point, this is a leader with great political skill.
Sarkozy's team has already given up a key provision on his higher education initiative- to give the national Universities the right to deny applicants to study more elite fields. In order to secure the release of the Bulgarian Nurses, "compensation" to the families of those affected by the dirty medical devices was given in the form of half a massive bribe. Its hard to say which way things will go. This summer will determine the President's success. France is in the middle of his emergency summer session. We shall see how he holds up in the face of expected huge demonstrations and strikes. If President Sarkozy retreats on his reforms, fails to do anything short of saving Darfur, or gets stalled in parliament, he could end up being a straight up bust.