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Saturday, May 5

5th May - Weekender: Elections

Election time in France and Greece. I wrote some of my thoughts here and I will update this post (new stuff at the bottom). Please follow ‘MoreLiver’ on Twitter or Facebook, and contact me with any questions or suggestions.

French Election BBC

French ElectionSpiegel

Preview Of Monday Morning ZH

Elections reaction: Live blogFT

In Hollande's Hands: Will France's Election Hinder German Leadership of the Euro Group?Spiegel
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is the leading candidate to become the president of the Euro Group, the common currency's powerful decision-making body. But if François Hollande wins the upcoming French election, he could scupper the appointment, dealing a major blow to Chancellor Merkel.

France's Enigmatic François Hollande: The Man Who Always SmilesSpiegel
All eyes in Europe are on François Hollande, the Socialist candidate who could become France's next president on Sunday. The reserved technocrat has become more confident and presidential during the campaign, and makes up for his shortcomings as an orator by showing genuine empathy with people. But even his friends say he is hard to fathom.

The World from Berlin: 'Hollande's Euro Strategy Will End in Disaster'Spiegel
New polls indicate that the gap between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and frontrunner François Hollande is narrowing. But most still expect the Socialist challenger to emerge victorious on Sunday. German commentators say that Hollande still has a lot to learn -- and the sooner he does, the greater the clout he will have in Europe.

France’s presidential election: Head to headThe Economist
Barring an extraordinary accident, it still looks a sure thing for the Socialist challenger, François Hollande

Euro election feverMacroScope / Reuters
While an Hollande victory looks priced in, Greece still has some power to shock the euro zone… And those who really count — Merkel and Draghi at the top of the list — insist the austerity drive must not be dimmed.

Hollande HysteriaKrugman / NYT
Oh my god, he might tamper with a strategy that's going so well!

Hollande Is Half the Story: France's Populist ResurgenceForeign Affairs
François Hollande's victory over Nicolas Sarkozy in this weekend's presidential election seems so certain that the French press has already moved on to speculating about the legislative elections that will take place in June. In those, fringe candidates will win some victories, setting the tone for French and European politics. After the first round of voting, barely a quarter of voters surveyed cited "the issues" as the reason they made their choice.

Three Key Elections: Super Sunday Poses Multiple Threats to MerkelSpiegel
It could be an uncomfortable weekend for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with three crunch votes taking place on Sunday. Elections in Greece and France could could torpedo her strategy to solve the euro crisis if voters reject pro-austerity candidates, while a state election in Germany may weaken her conservatives domestically.

European Elections: Watch Greece as Well as FranceMarketBeat / WSJ
Short text + video

Hollande Poll Lead Narrows With Sarkozy Closing in as Race EndsBB
The final daily tracking survey before the vote tomorrow showed Sarkozy narrowed Hollande’s lead to 52 percent to 48 percent, according to the pollster Ifop. No margin of error was provided. Five polls published the past two days indicated Sarkozy gaining after the May 2 televised debate.

Greece: “We Are Their Greatest Fear”Testosterone Pit

Schaeuble Says Germany Will Negotiate With HollandeBB
The German government will allow a victorious Francois Hollande to “save face” while expecting him to uphold French commitments to
Europe’s budget treaty, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said. 

The Mightiest Of WeaponsMark Grant / ZH
Mr. Hollande, in fact, represents the wave that is sweeping all across Europe which is a return to Nationalism, to tribal pride, to economic self-protection as the European Recession, as driven by the “austerity measures” and fiscal restrictions imposed by Berlin deepen both the economic travails and the reaction to finding your nation under the economic jack boots of Berlin.

The euro crisis just got a whole lot worseThe Telegraph
With Europe plunging back into recession and unemployment soaring, Francois Hollande, the French presidential candidate, is calling for growth objectives to be reprioritised over the chemotherapy of austerity.

France and Greece Election TimesCalculated Risk
The Greek polls will be open from 7 AM to 7 PM local time… The French polls will be open from 8 AM to 8 PM local time

Economist Varoufakis previews Greek electionsBB (mp3)
(20 min audio) Yanis Varoufakis, professor of economics at the University of Athens, discusses the Greek economy and previews Greece's Sunday elections. Varoufakis speaks with Bloomberg's Sara Eisen and Michael McKee on "Bloomberg On the Economy."

Greek elections to break stranglehold of mainstream partiesThe Telegraph
Years of economic mismanagement by Greece's two main parties will see a range of smaller political movements do well at the polls, reports Alex Spillius

The future of Greece: diary of an electionThe Telegraph
Latest coverage from Alex Spillius on the Greek election campaign, where voters are faced with a choice on May 6 that could dramatically alter the country’s course and that of the European Union with it.

Greece votes in parliamentary electionsBBC
Greeks are voting in parliamentary polls, with the country's two mainstream parties expected to lose support to anti-austerity candidates.

Q&A: Greek parliamentary electionBBC
Greece is holding parliamentary elections on 6 May. This will be the first poll since late 2009, when the country found itself on the brink of economic collapse.

Greece election: Wind of change sweeps through AthensBBC
Slogans are everywhere. Pinned to trees, stuck to houses, hung up like Christmas lights across town. Voices boom out of loudspeakers intermittently and there are constant late night gatherings. It is the last week of campaigning across Greece before one of the country's most critical elections of the last three decades.

Greece elections: Voters' voicesBBC
Voters go to the polls in Greece on 6 May to decide on the government to replace the caretaker administration led by technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.

Greece's far right hopes for new dawnBBC
The boxes are packed with warm clothes, the plastic bags full of long-life food. There is even a teddy bear in tow. All sit piled in a rickety blue van, winding its way through Athens to be delivered to the Greek capital's needy.

France voting as Nicolas Sarkozy faces electoral demiseThe Telegraph
France voted in a presidential run-off election on Sunday that could see Socialist challenger Francois Hollande defeat incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy by capitalising on public anger over the government's austerity policies.

Hollande looks set for victory but will markets vanquish him?The Telegraph
Francois Hollande is on course to triumph over Nicolas Sarkozy, but then he faces a gigantic battle with the economic problems of France and Europe.

Will Hollande be a wrong turn to the Left?The Telegraph
The anti-austerity bandwagon will gain momentum if Francois Hollande is elected as president, but its wheels may yet come off, argues Martin Vander Weyer.

Elysée Palace beckons for Hollande in contest with SarkozyThe Telegraph
François Hollande will soon find whether he has beaten Nicolas Sarkozy and fulfilled his teenage dream of becoming President of the French Republic.

France set for crucial presidential run-offBBC
France is set to vote in a run-off poll that could see a socialist win a French presidential election for the first time since 1988.

Q&A: Sarkozy's and Hollande's plans for FranceBBC
After months of campaigning and a close-fought first round, on 6 May French voters face a straight choice between the centre-right incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his Socialist rival, Francois Hollande, as their president for the next five years.

France presidential election: Who won TV debate?BBC
The French only got the chance for one televised debate between Sunday's two presidential candidates, but my word did it live up to expectations.

Profile: Francois HollandeBBC
Francois Hollande, the Socialist candidate who won the first round of the French presidential election is an experienced political organiser who has, nonetheless, never held national government office.

Profile: Nicolas SarkozyBBC
Admirers see Nicolas Sarkozy as dynamic and decisive but he now faces the very real prospect of becoming the first French leader not to be re-elected for a second term since Valery Giscard d'Estaing in 1981.

France: Sarkozy v Hollande on the economyBBC
public finances, bank reforms, immigration,

Greece Votes in Elections With Euro Future at StakeBB
Greeks are voting today in national elections that may determine whether the country has a future in the euro area.

Greeks maul pro-bailout parties: exit pollsReuters
Greek voters enraged by economic hardship deserted governing parties in droves in an election on Sunday, according to exit polls that threw doubt on the country's future in the euro zone.

Greek main parties 'suffer big losses' at pollsReuters
Exit polls in the Greek parliamentary election suggest the two main parties have suffered dramatic losses.

Euro Anti-Austerity Votes Pose Dangers for
This weekend is a big one in the eurozone saga, with both the second round of the French presidential election and Greece’s parliamentary elections. In both we are likely to see a vote against austerity and, by implication, eurozone bailout plans. It could be make or break.

European ElectionsMacro and Cheese
One thing to note:  Following Mitterrand's victory in 1981 on a platform very similar to Hollande's, the French Franc lost half its value over the course of the next three years

Hollande Wins French Vote, Pollsters SayWSJ
Mr. Sarkozy’s defeat makes him the 11th euro-zone leader swept away in the sovereign-debt crisis.

Unofficial Greek Exit PollsZH

First Official Greek Exit PollsZH
Pro-Bailout Parties Plunge; Anti-Bailout Radical Left, Neo-Nazis Soar

French Presidential Election Live TrackerZH

Splintering of GreeceMish’s
Will Anyone Rule? Exit Poll Has Anti-Bailout Party in Second Place

Hollande Defeats Sarkozy in Shift of Power to French SocialistsBB

Hollande wins French election - pollster projectionsReuters

Greek conservatives lead Socialists in poll - early resultsReuters

Socialist Francois Hollande wins French presidencyBBC 

Sarkozy Is First French President in 30 Years to Fail ReelectionBB

Greek Exit Poll Casts Doubt on New Democracy, Pasok MajorityBB

A Greek chorus for Hollande’s big nightThe World / FT

France and Greece elections deliver major protest votesSaxo Bank

Sarkophagus: Hollande Wins French PresidencyZH

French President-Elect Francois Hollande: Key DatesBB

Radical left and neo-Nazis score well in Greek electionseuobserver

What Hollande's Victory Means for MarketsMacro and Cheese

Hollande elected next president of Franceeuobserver

Ex-President Bling-BlingKrugman / NYT

Hollande Ousts Sarkozy in French VoteNYT

Greek leftist leader calls for anti-bailout coalitionReuters
Greece's Left Coalition called on Sunday for an anti-bailout coalition, saying the country's general election showed that austerity policies had been soundly defeated and a peaceful revolution ushered in.

Somatoparaphrenia: Europe’s Next PhaseThe Reformed Broker
The body is rejecting its own limbs, the limbs themselves are openly talking mutiny, speaking through the language of democratic elections.

President Hollande Should Propose an Ambitious Growth and Integration Agenda for the EurozoneEconoMonitor
it would be good if the new French President would propose to launch a discussion on the institutional arrangements that would be necessary to create new financial solidarity mechanisms between eurozone members.

On The Ground in Paris… It Ain’t Euro PositiveGains Pains & Capital

Voters Punish New Democracy and Pasok; New Election, Euro Exit Coming Up? Best thing For Greece is Tell the Troika "Go to Hell"Mish’s
Had Greece left the eurozone two years ago it would be far better off today, and the sooner it tells the Troika where to go, the sooner Greece has a chance to recover.

“We Embittered the People to Protect the Future of the Nation"Mish’s
The idea that Troika sponsored clowns can form the basis of Greek salvation is ridiculous. Furthermore, Venizelos' statement is right up there with other top Orwellian idiocies.

Has Europe's Golden Dawn Arrived?Pension Pulse

Be Shocked? Or be worried? French and Greek ElectionsAlso Sprach Analyst
According to WSJ, more than 60% of the popular vote went to these parties, and the new parliament would be the most fragmented one since 1974.  FT said this could mean another election rather soon.

French election result rattling marketsSober Look
SP500 futures have dropped 14.5 points (over 1% from Friday's close) on the back of the French election results. This brings the US equity market to the lowest level in 2 months.
Election swing leaves Greece teeteringekathimerini
ND-PASOK deal looks unlikely as hard-left SYRIZA makes gains, neo-Nazis enter Parliament

Those Revolting EuropeansKrugman / NYT
What is true is that Mr. Hollande’s victory means the end of “Merkozy,” the Franco-German axis that has enforced the austerity regime of the past two years. This would be a “dangerous” development if that strategy were working, or even had a reasonable chance of working. But it isn’t and doesn’t; it’s time to move on.

Real Time Greek Government Tracker; Goldman's Bearish TakeZH
Goldman Sachs: The foggy political situation in
Greece stands in stark contrast to the immediate decisions that need to be taken in the next two months… In short, while incentives are still in place for mainline Greek political forces to avoid extreme solutions that would lead to an interruption in the Greek rescue package, the risk is that lack of coordination and the prevalence of populist agendas in the parliament could potentially lead to the less desired scenario.

Analysis: Greek, French voters reject German-led austerityReuters
Greek voters dealt a serious blow on Sunday to the fragile political consensus that has kept Europe's currency bloc intact through more than two years of crisis, rejecting the austerity-for-aid policies that have shielded the country from bankruptcy and a euro exit.

Greek conservatives begin hunt for partners after voteReuters
Greece's conservative leader begins a frantic hunt on Monday for partners to forge a coalition that preserves the country's place in the euro zone after austerity-weary voters rejected the two ruling parties in an election. 

Investors flinch at Hollande winbeyondbrics / FT
Investors like to think they can move anticipate bad news. But sometimes the cold reality is worse than what was expected, even when what was expected seemed bad enough.

Yesterday strikes backekathimerini
Yesterday's elections destroyed the political system of the past 38 years. They opened the way for new forces and showed the need for cooperation, both before the elections and after.

On the Ground in Paris... It Ain't Euro PositivePhoenix / ZH
EU political leaders will maintain their agendas regardless of whether said agendas go against financial or economic realities (or common sense for that matter) until these agendas begin to have real negative consequences for their political careers. 

European Markets Vote NoMarketBeat / WSJ
On the other side, the Germans reject any renegotiation of the deal. Almost certainly,
Europe will be at loggerheads with Greece again soon. And this time, something might break.

Ballot Box Breakdown: How Europe’s Elections Will Heat Up the Debt CrisisTIME
There is a silver lining here, though. The bottom line is that
Europe’s incumbent politicians are being punished because the policies they have adopted to tackle the debt crisis simply are not working. 

Post-election blues (and reds)Buttonwood’s / The Economist
The hapless politicians in office are trying to square a variety of circles. The Greeks would like EU membership but are not willing to pay the price that other EU members wish to impose. European voters want a high level of social benefits but have not paid the taxes sufficient to fund those benefits fully, and thus have borrowed money to fund them. But the markets are not willing to fund all those governments for a rate they are willing to pay.

The end of austerity? Not likelyMacroScope / Reuters
1. Could this vote, and socialist Francois Hollande’s victory in France, shift the growth/austerity debate? 2. Does Greece, even its possible euro exit, still have the power to spread damaging contagion to the rest of the euro zone? 

BizDaily: Democratic deficit?BBC (mp3)
Can the French and Greek elections turn the tide against austerity in Europe? Former UK politician Lord Brittan describes what it's like to inherit an economic mess from a previous government. And Lesley Curwen talks to Pippa Malmgren, President of Principalis Asset Management, Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis, Director of the European Studies Centre, and Sean Taylor, the director and co-founder of software company Content Guru.

Hollande win, Greek deadlock – the analysts reactalphaville / FT
SocGen, Nomura, RBC