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Hollande apologises to the plumbers

Published on April 3, 2012 by: in: Politics

Although François Hollande, for  a few weeks, has been soliciting the support of European leaders or governments with perseverance, the doors of the main political offices remain closed to him. The same could have happened in Warsaw if it had not been  for the Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski. The latter met the French presidential candidate filling in for  the Polish prime minister Donald Tusk, who failed to keep the appointment with Hollande.


photo: Jean-Marc Ayrault

Hollande became unpopular with many European politicians because he had questioned the recently approved fiscal pact and had declared that he would renegotiate it in the case of winning the May election in France.  German media announced that the leaders of four countries had unofficially come to an understanding that none of them would meet Hollande before the election was decided.

During the debate in the Gazeta Wyborcza’s headquarters Hollande presented himself as a convinced European. He called for the enhancement of democratisation and for the simplification of the EU’s way of functioning. He was critical of Fiscal Pact, which, according to him, does not advance the process of European integration. He persuaded that the European Union cannot be reduced to markets and financial regulations.

His discourse abounded in diplomatic expressions that were courteous to Poles. He even humorously apologised to Polish plumbers for having been associated by French public opinion with a symbol of alleged inflow of cheap workforce.

Although some of Hollande’s ideas astonish (for example a tax on the richest at the level of 75 percent), and his adherence to the left-wing vision of economy does not match the atmosphere of a big debt crisis, it is much more important politician than it has been suggested by Polish press commentators.

Translation: Katarzyna Laprus

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About Wojciech Bialozyt

Graduate of Ecole Internationale des Sciences Politiques. He was an intern in the office of the European Parliament member Miquel Mayol and Raynal (ERC) and a consultant of the Regional Centre of European Information in Katowice. He took part in the observatory mission of the OSCE during the presidential elections in Ukraine in 2004, in 2006 he represented Poland on the UN conference ‘European youth Leadership Summit’. He works in the consulting company in Warsaw.

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