Heckuva job, Angie, heckuva job!
The French Socialists, the ruling party since 2012, are celebrating because in Sunday's local elections they came in - third.
The Socialists won the Presidency and a majority in Parliament in 2012 campaigning against Angela Merkel's austerity policies. But President François Hollande scrambled to adopt Merkelist austerity policies at an embarrassing speed.
Now in local elections, the Socialist finished with 20% behind the first-place conservatives (UMP) with around 31%, the far-right National Front with around 25%. This was a first round of elections with the top two candidates in each locality having a runoff next Sunday. So in places where the Socialists came in first or second, they still have a shot next Sunday. Christian Wernicke, Konservative UMP klar vor dem Front National 22.03.2015)
If the social-democratic parties in countries like France, Germany and Spain faithfully endorse Merkel's Herbert Hoover economics, why would anyone besides habitual partisans vote for them? Without any distinguishing economic policies, they are opening the way to parties to their left and to demagogues from the right.
In local elections in the Spanish state of Andalucía, the pro-austerity social-democratic PSOE came in first, inflicted big losses on the conservative Partido Popular (PP). Podemos, the left party founded last year and which has been leading in national polls, came in third. The PSOE's results were similar to their last one in 2012 there. The PP's results were the worst in 25 years. The PP is currently the ruling party nationally. (Ana Pardo de Vera, El PSOE toma oxígeno, Podemos se consolida y el PP se desmorona Público 23.03.2015)
I'm sure the significant losses by the pro-austerity ruling parties in both France and Spain will be on Angie's mind when she meets with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Berlin Monday.