France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy is not doing so well in in his bid for re-election. In last week’s poll, Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande maintains a lead and seems likely to beat him in the run-off (for those of you who don’t know, France has 2 rounds to their election, scheduled for April 22 and May 6 this year).
So, what is a damsel in distress to do? Like nearly everyone else in Europe right now, Sarkozy is calling on Germany’s Chancellor Merkel to ride to the rescue. Merkel has started campaigning for him, concerned at what a new socialist president would mean for new Franco-German push towards European austerity programs. Or, perhaps it may be more correct to say Merkel is concerned for what it would mean for the German-led and French-following-out-of-fear-of-becoming-irrelevant-in-the-EU-partnership (…that was a lot of hyphens…) push towards greater austerity.
Either way, it now appears that “Europe’s Odd Couple” are now friendlier than ever, leading some commentators to compare their new closeness to an engagement party. I’m betting, though, that Hollande is hoping that “Merkozy” lasts about as long as “Benifer” did.