Not revolutionaries, not luminaries, just ‘normal’ guys amidst the tempest
This chapter presents an overview of the first year of economic policy experienced by the new socialist presidency. It focuses on three questions: what is to be done to tackle the economic crisis; how does the presidency intend to fight ever-increasing unemployment; and how will it preserve industrial bases in the French economy and so prepare the basis of future growth. The chapter explains the responses witnessed by François Hollande's presidency: the internal dynamics of the Parti socialiste (PS) itself and the nature of the electoral competition in France. It also focuses on what remains of national economic policy and of national choices in a time of accelerated 'Europeanisation through crisis'. The PS has endorsed every European treaty since 1992, and now according to the European rules, the PS has no apparent choice but to cut drastically the public budgets and go for dramatic structural reforms.