Francois Hollande was elected early in May as France’s first Socialist president in over 20 years. In his victory speech, he repeated campaign promises of resisting the austerity measures that Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, made a condition of euro membership:
“Europe is watching us. The moment that I was announced president, I am sure in many European countries there was a relief, hope at the idea that at last austerity is no longer inevitable, and my mission is to give to European construction the dream of growth.”
Though Hollande intends to weather the financial situation in Europe with increased taxes on the wealthy, government officials have raised concerns about a market backlash in response to the new president’s plans.