Annus Horribilus

AyraultThe Holland administration has had, without doubt, a thoroughly horrible 2013.

Indeed, the year of the snake was poised to be the year of all the dangers, with an uncertain economic picture, general social unrest, elections looming the following year, and a government that would little by little no longer be able to blame its predecessors of the problems the country was facing.

2013 was all of those and much worse. A double-dip recession (not statistically but certainly perceived), increasing unemployment, declining real wages, and a highly sophisticated and effective public campaign by the opposition against rising taxation, building an image of incompetence.

There were however breakthroughs, and indications that the government’s policy choices are perhaps not as clubfooted as an increasing number in France and abroad believe. Is that enough in light of increasing dissatisfaction, record unpopularity of the President and Prime Minister and a government that appears to be doubting itself?

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