• http://www.commondreams.org, Common Dreams staff
A full 60 percent of French voters who turned out for the first round of presidential elections on Sunday -- whether on the right, the center-left, or the far left -- agreed on one thing: more austerity is not the direction they desire for France. Nicolas Sarkozy, the staunchly pro-austerity candidate and sitting president, received less than 27 percent of the vote, and if he loses the presidency in a run-off with Socialist Francois Hollande it will speak loudly about about the growing backlash against austerity taking place across the Eurozone.
In the Netherlands over the weekend, the Dutch government cracked over disputes over proposed budget cuts. Meanwhile, deepening economic downturns in Spain and Italy are adding fuel to opposition against the German-driven campaign to remedy the crisis with massive cuts in government spending aimed at reducing deficits.
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