It is ‘face the music’ time for French Prime Minister Francois Fillon. He has had a crunch meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy after their ruling centre-right suffered a crushing defeat in regional elections. A cabinet reshuffle is underway although Fillon should hold onto his job.
Alsace in the east is the only region in metropolitan France now governed by Sarkozy’s UMP part after the Socialist-led opposition alliance took around 54 per cent of the vote.
It was the last ballot box test before the 2012 presidential election. Socialist leader Martine Aubry said the French people had rejected the policies of the man currently in the post.
“I really believe they have punished an unfair policy of fiscal gifts for the most privileged to the detriment of employment, the fight against unemployment and purchasing power,” Aubry told supporters.
While not winning any regions, the far-right National Front is celebrating a good score in what was probably Jean-Marie Le Pen’s last poll as its leader. As for Nicolas Sarkozy, he faces fresh trouble tomorrow with a national strike in protest at his policies.