Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Further Shifts To The Right In France And Belgium

The elections in France and Belgium appear to signal a further shift to the right in both countries.

The result in France will not be clear until the second round next week, but the likelihood is that Sarkozy will cement his victory in the recent Presidential elections by securing a heavy majority for his right wing allies in the National Assembly. The left forces have all done badly, with Socialists, Communists and Greens all likely to be severely reduced in parliamentary representation.

The picture is similar in Belgium, where the Liberal-led government of Guy Verhofstadt and his socialist and centrist-regionalist allies have been delivered a knockout blow by the Flemish Christian Democrats and their allies. However, the Green vote (Groen! and Ecolo in Flemish and Walloon communities respectively) appears to have held up - vindicating their decision to distance themselves from the ineffective "centre left" government.

In both countries the far right vote is worrying, though much reduced from Le Pen's heyday and held back by the electoral circumstances in France. In Belgium the Flemish Far Right Party held its' ground and other new right forces made modest advances.

A period of reflection may now ensue on the left but, particularly in France, mobilisation may be just as important as the incoming government has signalled its' intention to implement "shock therapy". The progressive and workers' forces need to be ready to resist the kind of Thatcherite assaults we are only too familiar with in Britain.

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