Mr Hollande spoke with upbeat rhetoric to get elected.Now he is governing, he pores forth pessimistic language. He campaigned with optimism, he governs with pessimism.
His supporters will say he has to trim to the realities of office. They might argue that he did say in the small print of his manifesto that he too, like Sarkozy before him, needed to get the budget deficit down. Yet what most of us remember was the song “All you need is growth”. It is difficult to see where the extra growth is going to come from on his current policies.
Mr Hollande is right to take action to curb the deficit, even though it is already lower than the UK’s as a proportion of national income. I hope UK socialists will take note that a socialist French President wants the deficit below 3% of GDP, en route for 0%.