Mendoza School of Business

French vote to test Europe’s stance on austerity

Published: May 6, 2012 / Author: Ben Rooney

The following is an excerpt from an article in CNN Money which quotes Finance Professor Jeff Bergstrand on how France’s new president may affect the future of austerity throughout Europe. Jeff Bergstrand’s comments appeared in more than 200 media outlets, including AP Paris, NPR, USA-Today, The Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report. To read the entire article visit: French vote to test Europe’s stance on austerity

The election Sunday of socialist Francois Hollande as president of France raises questions about the future of austerity throughout Europe.

France and Germany, the two largest economies in the eurozone, have worked closely together during Europe’s nearly three year-old debt crisis.

France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy, who conceded defeat to Hollande Sunday, had close ties to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, key proponent of austerity.
Hollande campaigned on the need to focus more on economic growth and less on cutting government spending to reduce public debt. He attacked Sarkozy on his economic record, calling him “president of the rich.”


“In this context, there is a strong move to reappraise austerity measures with an eye towards more growth,” said Jeffrey Bergstrand, a professor of finance at the University of Notre Dame and former Federal Reserve economist. “France under Hollande would play a much more dominant role that Germany would have to respond to.”


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