(Reuters) - Budget cuts that might once have sent French people marching into the streets look set to pass in silence as anxiety about debt and deficits, long non-issues in free-spending France, loom large in voters' minds ahead of a presidential election.I read a few German, Greek and Italian news site translations from time to time and the mood seems serious, but the tone is measured and even. The public is less sanguine. Judging by the muted reactions to these budget cuts and the slow-motion bank runs in progress, the Eurosocialist on the street is scared to death. Some idle speculation, based on nothing and probably dead wrong:
Just a year ago, unions staged spectacular protests against a two-year hike in the legal retirement age, mobilizing hundreds of thousands of demonstrators over many months, and in some places blocking access to fuel supplies.
The reaction was much less explosive this week after Prime Minister Francois Fillon unveiled France's second round of belt-tightening in just three months, intoning that the "hour of truth" had come to defend France's triple-A credit rating.
- In the old days, each government would have blamed the others and armies would be being mobilized. Luckily, modern Europeans are such pansies that we need have no fear of that.
- As Mark Steyn loves to point out, a large portion of the Muslim population in countries like France are on the dole. I wonder what's going on in their ghettos right about now. Nothing good, I'm sure.
- If they hadn't killed off all the Jews, they'd probably be blaming them, too.
- An old programming friend of mine used to say that if you ditch your software development process when your project is in crisis, then it was the wrong software development process. Similarly, it's interesting that the progressive, socialist model is being universally ditched by all of these countries. All along, compassion was a luxury good that had almost none of the positive effects (like wealth creation) ascribed to it.