The French presidential elections have come and gone; anyone who followed the race to any degree wouldn't be surprised by the outcome or by the margin with which Nicolas cwon. Of course, those disappointed with the results will doubtlessly feel that the sky is perpetually falling for the next five years.
Whether Sarko gets to push through any of his reforms remains to be seen. With legislative elections in June, it's possible, though not overly likely at this point, that the opposition could take control of the government. This would lead to yet another "co-habitation" much like 10 years ago that would likely lead to few - if any - of Sarko's proposed programs going through.
While I applaud the President elect's recognition that some social and labor policies need reform, or at the very least, honest discussion about their efficiency, it's also a marvel to me that he finds the American model the ideal model.
It will be interesting to see how he manages to balance early promises versus campaign rhetoric versus the reality of his political situation once the election celebrations die down and the real work begins.
While it may be interesting to see what rabbits he pulls out of his hat â€“ there are some interesting ideas, such as making overtime hours worked non-taxable income.
While this would be a welcome idea in a country with high income taxes, let's keep in mind that workers rarely decide to work more hours â€“ their employers usually decide it for them!
In the coming months, I'll be blogging about changes in French labor and social issues; the first question that remains to be seen: Will Sarkozy be working for the French people or French business leaders?