Skip to Content

John Maynard Keynes; May; Macron; Merkel
Paris

Childless leaders are steering Europe

Three world leaders now have the distinction of being childless at an historical time in Europe.

Published: May 11, 2017, 10:34 am

    Read more

    Emmanuel Macron is the new president of France, and the 39-year-old, who has no children of his own, unbelievably won the second round of the presidential election in France without a party to support him.

    German chancellor Angela Merkel and British premier Theresa May are also childless as they face hard decisions on the future of their countries.

    Turnout was the lowest in more than 40 years in France. Almost one-third of voters chose neither Macron nor Le Pen, with 12 million abstaining and 4.2 million spoiling ballot papers. It is thus worth noting that over 16 million French voters abstained or spoiled their votes against the 20 million who opted for Macron.

    Marine Le Pen gained a record of almost 11 million votes for Front National from the 47.5 million registered voters, most of them young. It means that 27 million French voters, many young, had in fact rejected Macron.

    Despite that, pro-EU and pro-euro supporters are delighted. But is there really a reason for cheering? The three most important leaders clearly suffer from short-termisms.

    According to the Institut de Recherches Economiques et Fiscales in the first round of the presidential election 55 percent of voters supported a market-hostile collectivist course. In other words: More than half of the French voters want France and Europe to move away from a free market economy.

    In the second round, the French put Macron into power largely to prevent Le Pen from becoming president, and not because of Macron’s proposed policies. But that might change soon.

    His political movement En marche! has no basis in France’s lower house of parliament, and almost nothing is known about his economic views, except his support of a Keynesian-style economic policy. The gay and childless British economist John Maynard Keynes, became so popular in the middle third of the twentieth century that an entire school of modern thought bears his name.

    The government, according to Macron’s Keynesian outlook, ought to stimulate credit-financed expenditure programs to counter unemployment. He has proposed an economic and finance ministry for the euro area; to stop “social dumping” within the EU; a “Buy European Act” to protect “strategically important” companies from foreign competitors; and the issuing of “euro bonds”.

    France already suffers from low growth, high unemployment, rising public debt and ailing banks. Macron’s presidency would not resolve the effects of the credit boom created by the European Central Bank (ECB) either.

    The euro zone has not meant prosperity for its members. Instead it is a Soviet-style mechanism in which dysfunctional economies increasingly drain the power of their well-performing counterparts. The ECB’s industrious electronic printing press which bails out overstretched states and banks, has resulted in redistribution of income and wealth.

    The German political establishment is nervous about Macron’s eurozone agenda, even though Emmanuel Macron was favoured over Le Pen during the election campaign.

    As the German daily FAZ noted, the relief over his victory still weighs heavier than the reality – which is that Macron and Angela Merkel have diametrically opposed views on the future of the eurozone. Merkel has already said that eurozone bonds are not an option.

    The FAZ article speaks of Zumutungen, which means an excessive and immoral demand from France on a fiscal level that Germany can not conceivably fulfil.

    The article notes that Macron’s ideas go even further than those of former president Francois Hollande. Macron’s eurozone agenda is not about crisis resolution, but economic shock absorption in general, as evidenced by his ideas for a pan-European unemployment insurance. FAZ is appalled by this, as well as by Macron’s idea of a Buy-European act. The paper noted that the eurozone finance ministers, at their meeting in Malta, criticised similar ideas by the European Commission, Eurointelligence reported.

    Labor reforms, similar to the ones Macron is now proposing, were particularly traumatic for the outgoing Hollande government. Hours after Macron’s victory, radical trade unionists were already rioting out the streets, while the more cautious warn against implementing the whole agenda.

    The election of the 577 deputies will take place on June 11 and 18. While Macron wants to reconcile his country with globalisation, the economic changes he is proposing, are going to provoke fierce resistance.

    Fifteen years ago, the eurozone’s two biggest countries, France and Germany, enjoyed comparable living standards. Today, Germany’s are almost a fifth higher than those in France. And when euro notes and coins were introduced in 2002, French and German unemployment rates were both around 8 percent. Today, Germany’s unemployment rate has dropped below 4 percent while French unemployment is close to 10 percent.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    UK faces policing crisis as cops quit in huge numbers

    Law enforcement chiefs in Britain are struggling to find enough specialist detectives with three-quarters of stations admitting that they cannot fill vacancies because of the rate at which experienced officers are quitting the force.

    French official criticises British resolve to stop illegals

    In the fight against networks of human traffickers in the English Channel, the president of the Regional Council of Hauts-de-France has pleaded for stronger cooperation between France and Britain to end illegal immigration.

    Smartphones stolen in Barcelona turn up in Marrakesh

    A profitable black market in smartphones is encouraging the theft of mobile phones in the coastal city of Barcelona.

    Bertelsmann study: Does Germany really need more immigrants?

    Germany supposedly needs 260 000 immigrants each year, a study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation has recently found. But the findings have drawn much criticism and incomprehension.

    Number of migrants in German prisons at a record high

    BerlinMigrant inmates in German prisons have skyrocketed, a new survey of the Justice Ministries in in Germany's 16 federal states show.

    Hungary launches seven-point family plan

    BudapestHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced a family protection plan in his state-of-the nation address in Budapest on Sunday.

    Act XIII: Protester’s hand torn off by police grenade

    ParisDuring the clashes that took place in front of the National Assembly in Paris over the weekend between police and Yellow Vests, a protester lost his hand. Tensions rose a notch in Paris on Saturday, February 9 on the occasion of Act XIII of the protest movement.

    UK Counter Terrorism interviews 8-year-old

    LondonIn Britain, an eight-year-old Muslim boy was questioned by two counter-terrorism police officers and a social worker at a school in east London because he had become so radicalized.

    French border officials caught forging migrant applications

    French border officials have been accused of forgery in order to send young migrants back to Italy.

    Smørdland-like knife murder attempt in IKEA Hamburg

    HamburgIn Hamburg-Schnelsen, Germany, a young man, 22, was stabbed on Saturday evening shortly after 6pm by a "Southerner" in the cashier area of IKEA.

    Go to archive