France 2012: Hollande now to reassure EU

'Re-orientate Union in name of European values'

23 April, 21:12

France's Socialist candidate Hollande campaigns in Quimper in Brittany France's Socialist candidate Hollande campaigns in Quimper in Brittany

(ANSAmed) - PARIS - Following his victory in the first round of the French presidential election and today's crash of European stock markets, Francois Hollande knows that the eyes of EU leaders and of his partners in Europe are directed at him. Thus, as soon as he was back on the campaign trail once more in Brittany today, Mr Hollande was careful to send these spectators a message. In it, he reaffirmed his pro-European faith alongside a criticism of the new EU structure constituted by the Merkel-Sarkozy partnership.

"It is in the name of European values that I want to redirect the construction of the Union," he told supporters in Lorient, Brittany. The none-too veiled reference was to the promise in his manifesto to renegotiate the fiscal treaty by inserting growth alongside rigour. This idea he repeated shortly after in an attack on the decision to subject budget decisions made by individual countries to those made in Brussels: "France deserves respect; it is the French people who should decide on their future, and they alone," Mr Hollande declared. "We need the country to take its destiny into its own hands".

These are strong words and they are aimed at preparing European partners and financial markets of the Socialist candidate's behaviour should he be crowned at France's presidential palace. But at the same time, the message aims to persuade as many electors as possible to transform his first-round success into a final one, pushing his supporters to remain mobilised.

The response from financial markets was immediate: the phantom of crashing indexes repeatedly evoked by Sarkozy appears to have come true today - at least in part. Despite a paradoxically mild level of loss on the Paris stock market (down by 2.83%), most markets suffered on a day made more nervous by a government crisis in Holland. (ANSAmed).

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