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The Editors

France’s Monsieur Normal Should Just Say ’Non’ to Germany

It would be a mistake to interpret the election of France’s socialist presidential challenger, Francois Hollande, as portending a seismic shift for Europe’s second-largest economy.

All indications are that Hollande doesn’t owe his victory to any passion among the electorate for a sweeping left-leaning platform. The defeated incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, is merely the latest leader felled by Europe’s economic crisis and the lassitude of its citizens. His flamboyant, hyperkinetic persona had grown jarringly dissonant with the grayness of the times and undermined his demands for belt-tightening and sacrifice by his countrymen.