is starting to take its toll. Voters everywhere are fed up with austerity, fed
up with high unemployment, fed up with immigration, and fed up with politicians
currently in power.
On May 6, voter backlash will cost French President Nicolas Sarkozy his job.
Hollande Sustains Lead Over Sarkozy In
Francois Hollande, the socialist candidate in French elections, is
maintaining his lead over incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy with 12 days to
go to the runoff for the French presidency, a poll showed Tuesday.
Hollande will take 54% of the vote in the second
round and Sarkozy 46%, according to the poll of 1,145 people on the electoral
register conducted by Opinionway Monday and Tuesday.
The result of the Opinionway poll was unchanged from
the previous comparable poll Sunday, when the French chose between 10
candidates in the first round.
The Opinionway poll shows 47% of Le Pen voters would
switch to Sarkozy and 27% would go for Hollande in
the runoff, with 26% abstaining from voting.
The poll also shows 41% of those who voted for centrist candidate Francois Bayrou--who took 9.13% of the vote in the first round--plan
to vote for Sarkozy and 36% for Hollande.
However, Hollande benefits from a clear transfer of
votes from far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who
took 11.1% of the first-round vote and has called for his supporters to vote
for Hollande. Hollande
would take 91% of Melenchon's voters and Sarkozy only
2%, according to the Opinionway poll.
Voters are so disgusted
with Sarkozy that less than half of of those voting voting for extreme-right candidate Marine Le Pen plan on
voting for center-right president Sarkozy. 53% will abstain or vote for the
Backlash Against Eurozone Austerity
The Financial Times discusses Backlash Against Eurozone Austerity
A political backlash
against fiscal austerity left mainstream French and Dutch politicians
struggling on Monday to shore up support as a key economic indicator
highlighted the eurozone’s slide into deeper
In the Netherlands, one of the eurozone’s most
fiscally disciplinarian governments collapsed as Mark Rutte,
prime minister, tendered his government’s resignation at a meeting with
Queen Beatrix, clearing the way for elections. In France, the Socialist Mr Hollande’s first-round
victory was accompanied by a surge in support for the far-right National Front.
Backlash Against Germans
Der Speigel Online reports Politician Sparks Uproar with Call to Limit German Workers
A Swiss politician has
prompted a heated debate after suggesting that there are too many German
immigrants in her country. "We really have too many Germans in the
country," Natalie Rickli, a member of
Switzerland's parliament with the right-wing populist Swiss People's Party
(SVP), said during a television talk show on Sunday.
The actual topic of discussion on the talk show, broadcast on Zürich local
television station TeleZüri, was supposed to be
Switzerland's decision last week to curb immigration from eight central and
eastern European countries. Last Wednesday, the Swiss cabinet, the Federal
Council, announced it had decided to invoke the so-called "safeguard
clause" in its agreement with the European Union on the free movement of
persons. The move will significantly reduce the number of jobseekers from these
countries allowed to enter Switzerland for a one-year period.
But that initiative apparently does not go far enough for Rickli.
On the talk show, she argued that the safeguard clause should also apply to
Germans. Many people shared her view that there were "too many
Germans" in Switzerland, she said.
The other guests on the show reacted with shock, but Rickli
kept going. "The parliament should have already activated the safeguard
clause in 2009, when it would have also affected the Germans," she said,
adding that Switzerland had a problem with the sheer scale of immigration. She
said that she had already received a lot of mail from Swiss people saying that
they had lost their jobs because cheaper Germans had been hired instead.
Rickli's comments reflect her SVP party's anti-EU and
The verbal attack comes at a time of mutual tensions between Germany and
Switzerland over a controversial bilateral tax treaty which is aimed at
cracking down on wealthy Germans who commit tax evasion by stashing their money
in Swiss banks.