Archive for May 2nd, 2012

02/05/2012

The Far-right Factor In French Presidential Elections

Human Wrongs Watch

By Alan Maass, Socialist Worker, 1 May – French President Nicolas Sarkozy is frantically racing to the right to win the votes of National Front supporters.

**Marine Le Pen. Author: Marine_le_pen.jpg: Antoine Bayet

The second round of France’s presidential election on May 6 will, as expected, pit the candidates of the country’s two leading parties against each other–and opinion polls show that right-wing President Nicolas Sarkozy is probably headed for defeat, also as expected.

But the shadow of France’s far right, emboldened by a strong showing in the first round of the presidential vote, looms over the campaign as it heads into its final week.

On May Day, supporters of Socialist Party candidate François Hollande will gather for parades and rallies, traditionally organized by unions and the left. But in Paris, there will be two competing events.

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02/05/2012

Spain – Economic and Social Crisis “of Huge Proportions”

Human Wrongs Watch

By Vicky Short (WSWS)*, 1 May – “The figures are terrible for everyone and terrible for the government,” Popular Party (PP) Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told Spanish National Radio. “Spain is in a crisis of huge proportions.”

**Spanish primer minister Mariano Rajoy. Photo by: Iker Parriza

The PP president of the regional government in Valencia, Alberto Fabra, declared, “The government has found that it has no money to be able to guarantee the welfare state.”

Spain is officially in recession—the second in little more than two years. Unemployment has soared to nearly one quarter of the population (over half of the youth)—the highest level in almost two decades and far worse than predicted.

Fears the government will not meet deficit-cutting targets agreed with the European Union and International Monetary Fund have pushed up its borrowing costs. There is also growing speculation that bank debts are much higher than admitted.

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