In France, Marine Le Pen failed to be elected but her niece, the photogenic Marion Maréchal Le Pen seems to have won the vote in Carpentras. François Hollande has swept all before him and can enact his programme without support from any other party. It is an impressive victory but I can't help feeling that France has made a mistake.
In Greece, as I advised, it paid to take no notice of the doomsayers. New Democracy, the centre right pro-bailout party, beat Syriza and will now form a coalition with PASOK. So Greece will be run by the people who have run it since the Colonels, in other words the people who got them into this mess. The people's choice, though, was stark; Syriza thought it could call Merkel's bluff and stay in the euro, which was disquieting. Only a few tiny parties, with minuscule support, thought, as I do, that it would be in Greece's interest to leave the single currency. The Greeks, who believe, quite erroneously, that the euro is a good thing for them, played it safe.
So Greece is condemned to be welfare dependent. It cannot service its debts, it cannot borrow more money from the markets, and it cannot exp'ort its way out of trouble because its currency, the euro, is over-valued for Greek needs by at least 30%. It will leave the euro eventually and it is only to be hoped that some politician grasps the nettle, and that it is not too late, and too painful.