As the French presidential elections near, Sylvestre Jaffard charts the declining fortunes of Nicolas Sarkozy and looks at the dangers from the right, with the fascist Marine Le Pen buoyed by the polls, and the opportunities for the left to challenge neoliberalism and austerity
On 22 April voters throughout France and the overseas territories still under its control will go to the polls for the first round of the presidential elections. This comes after ten years of Nicolas Sarkozy being in power, the last five as president. The French Tories have managed to score some important victories for the ruling class over that decade. Two successive pension reforms have raised the retirement age while cutting pensions. Social Security (equivalent to the NHS) has been cut so that the sick now have to pay much more out of their own pockets.