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Voting Out Austerity

France and Greece vote out austerity. We’ll look at what their elections mean for Europe’s debt crisis and the world.

Supporters of Socialist candidate Francois Hollande celebrate his victory in the second round of French presidential elections at Bastille Square in Paris, France, Sunday, May 6, 2012. (AP)

Supporters of Socialist candidate Francois Hollande celebrate his victory in the second round of French presidential elections at Bastille Square in Paris, France, Sunday, May 6, 2012. (AP)


They voted in France. They voted in Greece. And they voted against the pain of austerity that’s been raining down on Europe since economic crisis hit and the hammer came down. Sarkozy is out in France.

The first Socialist in years is in: Francoise Hollande. In Greece, deadlock and a big “no” to the mainstream parties that have led in the crunch. Now comes the face-off. Will it be the German call to take the pain? The cuts? The unemployment? Will it be, somehow, growth? Will Europe hold together? Melt down?

This hour, On Point: pushback politics, and the big “no” from Europe.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nicholas Kulish, Berlin bureau chief for the New York Times.

Dominique Moïsi, a founder and senior advisor at the Ilfri (the French Institute for International Relations) and author of “The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World.”

Scheherazade Rehman, is Director of the European Union Research Center and a professor of International Finance and Business at George Washington University.

From Tom’s Reading List

Project Syndicate “This year’s annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund made clear that Europe and the international community remain rudderless when it comes to economic policy. Financial leaders, from finance ministers to leaders of private financial institutions, reiterated the current mantra: the crisis countries have to get their houses in order, reduce their deficits, bring down their national debts, undertake structural reforms, and promote growth. Confidence, it was repeatedly said, needs to be restored.”

Der Spiegel “As concerns about Spanish banks grow, leading economists are warning that Europe’s banking system urgently need to be overhauled, otherwise the entire monetary union could be in jeopardy. The continent’s leaders missed their chance to reform the system in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and are now paying the price.”

BBC “Pro-bailout parties in Greece performed poorly, while Francois Hollande won the French presidency, promising to focus more on growth.”

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