France: Large 'people's front' marches against austerity

A large march against austerity took place in Paris on April 12. Organised around the slogan “Enough is enough”, the theme of the demonstration was “against austerity, for equality and sharing the wealth”.

At the head of the march were leaders of the French left: Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the Left Party, Pierre Laurent, leader of the Communist Party of France, and the New Anti-capitalist Party's Olivier Besancenot.

France swings left: can Hollande fulfil hopes?

In what marks a significant shift in the balance of European politics, in the final round presidential election on May 6, Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande defeated right-wing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy of the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement by almost 52% to 48%.

Hollande is France's first president from the social democratic Socialist Party in France in 17 years. Sarkozy is the first president since 1981 not to win a second term.

France: May Day hotly contested ahead of poll

People from all sides of politics came out on the streets of Paris in great numbers on May 1.

Ahead of the second round of the French presidential poll on May 6, it was a highly politicised May Day. In the first round on April 22, the Socialist Party's Francois Hollande beat the right-wing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

The far right National Front's candidate Marine Le Pen scored a record vote of about 18%. The Left Front's Jean-Luc Melenchon took about 11% of the vote.

France eyewitness: Youth mobilise for Melenchon, pledge 'resistance'

Presidential elections in France are a media spectacle rivalled perhaps only by those in the United States. In day-to-day life, there is also a real buzz as people argue and discuss the race on worksites, the street and, habitually, in cafes.

Streets are plastered with posters of candidates and clever activist propaganda (over the top of some street signs here, activists have put up “Impasse Sarkozy”).

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