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Hollande's 'Tartuffe' Syndrome

France could be headed towards a catastrophe, with its leader making political pledges he cannot honour, mainly because of his approach.

London

IN his classic comedy "Tartuffe", or "The Impostor", French playwright Molière shows that allowing pride, rather than reason, to dictate one's actions invariably ends badly. French President François Hollande appears to have an advanced case of Tartuffe's malady, repeatedly making political pledges that he cannot honour, partly because of factors beyond his control - namely, the European Monetary Union (EMU) - but mostly because he lacks the determination.

For France, the consequences of Mr Hollande's failures will be much more dramatic than his political downfall. Indeed, the country could be facing a catastrophe, as his actions risk miring the economy into sustained stagnation and driving...

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