A socialist president in France is inspiring jitters, but the Francois Hollande could be just what the doctor ordered for Europe—and the world.
Over the weekend, the citizens of France elected a Francois Hollande, a socialist, to be their president. Here in the United States, attempts to comprehend this may be futile, given national confusion over whether or not our own president is a socialist,* but there’s no need to panic over this particular European specter. In fact, Hollande’s election may be exactly what Europe needs.
The key issue in Europe right now is hashing out the financial crisis that has already brought low governments in Greece, Spain, and Italy. A simplified version of the story is that most European countries got together under one currency, like the U.S. dollar, but didn’t put the bulk of their government spending under one organ, like the U.S. Congress. Without those two tools unified, some European countries ran up more debt than they could manage and now find themselves in danger of losing access to funding for public spending while their banks teeter, drying up credit that entrepreneurs need.