We had two major elections in Europe last weekend and yet the column inches devoted to Sarkozy losing to Francois Hollande completely and utterly eclipsed the reports from Greece.
The media were going overboard on what Hollande's victory meant. The left were celebrating the end of the Merkozy austerity consensus whilst the right seemed to be hinting that we should all be stockpiling wool and grain to trade - because that's all we will have left when this free spending commie sympathiser has finished with capitalism.
I have to say that I was a little unnerved at the prospect of having to give up my debit card and pin number to learn the principles of subsistence farming to stay alive so I did a little more reading on Monsieur Hollande.
I was surprised as to what I found really. Ok, the new incumbent at the Elysee Palace is definitely left of centre but France has certainly not elected Lenin and Castro's lovechild. As far as I could judge he seems like a policy wonkish good egg who is just as steady and uninspiring as any Milliband. Hollande even worked for President Mitterrand in the 1980s and France was fine - apart from that glass pyramid Mitterand built at the Louvre that upset a lot of people to begin with. Yes, Hollande questioned current economic thinking but how is this new? I am still waiting for someone to tell me which is the winner between spending vs austerity. And by the look of the Queen's speech and the leaders at the state opening we'll be waiting forever because no one is ever going to agree.
Which in a roundabout fashion brings me to Greece. Whilst all eyes were on Sarkozy's losing face, Greece had their election and just casually went about electing a Royal Variety Show of right and left wing extremists to entrust the fortunes of their nation and the future of global capitalism.
Right now they are trying to staple together some form of government which is pretty much the same as asking Barack Obama to run for re-election in November with North Korea's Kim Jong-Un as his Vice President. More elections are already being touted as, unsuprisingly, party leaders can't seem to agree on what to have for lunch thus far. But if Greece doesn't find some sort of agreement, they'll go bankrupt faster than you can say Fred Goodwin and this economic meltdown could then spread to Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy. If all those countries go to the wall and the Euro breaks up it will make the economic woe of the 1930s look like a free spending era of riches. As around 50% of all our business is done with Europe then what will we do if no one across Europe can afford to buy all the stuff we do and make? Then we will all lose our jobs and I will have to trade my iphone in for a plough. The lucky few of you with allotments will replace bankers as the new economic aristocracy. I don't know about you but I feel I need to tweet as many people I know in Greece to just sort it out. If Facebook and Twitter can bring down regimes then why can't it work the other way. Seriously #Greecesortitout - I am going to be so monumentally p*ssed off if I have to give up life as I know it to worry about crop rotation.
Oh the irony, ancient Greece, the very founders of democracy and it could well be Greece again that ends the democratic and civilised world they created. Oh well, at least they gave us Moussaka which will taste even more delicious with vegetables that you were forced to harvest yourself. But hey, let's talk more about France and President Hollande shall we - he's probably put on a red tie that needs a 3 page feature on why this is a new threat to the global economy.
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