Writing in the Financial Times, Die Zeit editor Joe Joffe argues that newly-elected French President Francois Hollande would do well to imitate former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder:
Why the former German chancellor? Because he dared tell his own electorate what neither Mr Hollande nor Nicolas Sarkozy would have uttered even on the rack. Nine years ago, Mr Schröder warned his country: reduce social benefits, loosen up labour markets and accept individual responsibility – or else. Then he carried through with his “Agenda 2010”. And lo, Germany went from zero to 3 per cent growth in the two years before the crash – and back to 3 per cent thereafter.