François Cocquemas

By François Cocquemas

Ingram Pinn illustration: Hollande (c) FT

On Sunday May 6th, 2012, French voters will choose their president for the coming five years. After a first round with 10 candidates covering a wide and sometimes colourful political spectrum, the landscape may now appear a bit dreary. Both the left-wing favourite, François Hollande, and the right-wing incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, have promised higher taxes and controlled public spending. Both candidates aim to bring the public deficit back to equilibrium, disagreeing only on the timeframe. Both mostly refrained from costly, last-minute promises to rally the undecided. According to the pro-business think-tank Institut de l’entreprise, both programmes are underfunded [in French] by a similar amount, €11bn to €12bn.