François Hollande will be the next president of France. He is not going to have an easy job, and probably will not be able to set aside all austerity. But his victory is more than welcome at least for three reasons:
-His personality is the opposite to Sarkozy. Hiperactive, histrionic leaders à la Berlusconi, Piñera o Sarkozy tend to transform politics into a theater. A more sober, modest leadership will help return democracy to a human scale.
-He will provide a better counterbalance to Merkel's German conservative supporters. It is not that Sarkozy shared all the views of Angela Merkel, but he lacked conviction and a support base to defend a view of Europe centered on federalism and a more cooperative economic policy, with a political and fiscal union that accompanies monetary union.
-A radically democratic social-democracy is making progress. Not only social-democratic policies are again supported by a big electorate (and a number of high calibre economists), but here we are talking about a leader that won a fully open primary election (against the leader of the party, Martine Aubry) and that next won two rounds of a presidential election.
Thank you, French electorate.