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Will the French Socialist government have the courage and strategy necessary to carry out its programme in the face of neoliberal European obstacles? Bowd compares Hollande's prospects with the situation that faced Francois Mitterrand in 1981, and argues that the situation is more difficult
for Hollande because of the financial crisis and the restraints caused by EU policy. Many of Hollande's first initiatives have been symbolic rather than real, while others – such as the very modest rise in the minimum wage – have been very disappointing for trade unionists; and
the government proved unable to save the Mittal blast furnaces at Florange in Lorraine. The article discusses relationships on the left, including with the Left Front and the Greens, and also points to the threat from the right wing National Front.
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