The bad news: It was for all the wrong reasons.
Faced with an economy wrecked by mismanagement, the Chirac government tried to implement financial reforms. The public's response was to toss him out of office.
Between this, the recent debacle in Spain, and what may very well be a similar story for the Schroeder government in Germany, it appears that European electorates will not tolerate any leader that tells them anything other than what they want to hear. The EU's political and economic decline is accelerating to a plummet.
How unfortunate. But not surprising.
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