Merkel faces new challenges with loss of Sarkozy

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be forgiven if she were found drunk under a bridge today after the weekend’s votes in Europe,” writes a Bloomberg News columnist. While the aim may have been humor, the point is all too serious. Merkel did suffer a setback as French voters opted for Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande and Greece choose anti-bailout parties in Sunday elections.

The outlook for Europe’s German-led austerity program is not good given Merkel’s main ally was defeated and the new French president has vocally opposed austerity.

In a recent debate, Hollande accused Sarkozy of bowing to the wishes of Germany in supporting austerity measures, Foreign Policy magazine notes. In the face of a rejection of austerity by French voters, Germany was joined by the European Commission in calling for Europe to adhere to a policy of austerity.

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