French press review 18 June 2012
The results and implications of France's parliamentary election and the Greek one too, in today's French papers...
The Socialist Party will have an absolute majority in the next French parliament. In everyday terms, that means the Socialists have nobody else to blame, they have a free hand to deal with the economic crisis, and no excuse that they are being hampered by a powerful opposition, or by uppity coalition partners.
Right-wing Le Figaro is happy to point out that fewer than one French voter in two is actually satisfied by the new parliamentary make-up.
And only 56% bothered to vote anyway.
The precise figures are not too precise: 316 seats for the left, according to Le Figaro, 314 if you believe Libération or the business daily, Les Echos.
However many they will finally be, and there is at least one call for a recount, the new lads and lassies certainly have their work cut out for them.
They will have to magic up policies which can move towards a balance between state income and public spending; cut expenses; reduce the charges on business; stop blaming the rich for everything, and restore serenity to the troubled relations between Paris and Berlin. And that's just for starters.
There are jobs to be created, especially in the car-manufacturing sector, but who can afford a new car? French economic growth is currently at zero, and is expected to be negative when the figures for the second three months of this year become official in early July.
Popular Aujourd'hui en France notes that the Socialists have, in sporting terms, pulled off the grand slam, since they now dominate both the Senate and the National Assembly, as well as having François Hollande comfortably installed in the presidential hot seat.
The other grand slam concerns the cabinet named by Jean-Marc Ayrault a few weeks ago. They'd been warned that failure to win parliamentary seats would cost them their ministerial jobs. Well, they all got through.
Not so fortunate was Ségolène Royal, a candidate for the presidency five years ago, beaten by a dissident socialist for a place in parliament.
Also gone is Marine Le Pen, leader of the extreme right National Front, who has asked for a re-count on the basis that only 118 votes separate her from the Socialist winner.
Another defeated leader is the centrist François Bayrou. Gone are former Sarkozy-era ministers Claude Guéant, Nadine Morano and Michèle Alliot-Marie, and the former Socialist culture minister, Jack Lang.
The other election story making the French front pages comes from Greece, where the pro-european right wing has won a narrow victory and will now try to form a coalition government with the socialists.
World markets have already reacted positively to promises that Athens will stay in the eurozone, and will meet its debt obligations. They have to put that government of national unity together first, but let's not quibble over details.