France at the Crossroads

Sunday’s presidential election in France produced two candidates who will now compete head-to-head in a runoff election on May 6. The two candidates — conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Segolene Royal — provide French voters with two very different visions of the future:

Both Royal and Sarkozy have promised to get France back on its feet — but offer starkly different paths for doing that.

Sarkozy would loosen labor laws and cut taxes to invigorate the sluggish economy, while Royal would hike government spending and preserve the country’s generous worker protections.

I suspect this election will also serve as a bellwether of Europe’s future direction.

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