Socialist Francois Hollande swept to victory in France's presidential election on Sunday in a swing to the left at the heart of Europe that could start a pushback against German-led austerity.Jubilant left-wingers celebrated outside Socialist Party headquarters and in Paris' Bastille square, where revelers danced in 1981 when Francois Mitterrand became France's only other Socialist president.Hollande's clear win should give the self-styled "Mr Normal" the authority to press German Chancellor Angela Merkel to accept a policy shift towards fostering growth in Europe to balance the austerity that has fueled anger across southern Europe.
His margin also positions the Socialists strongly to win a left-wing majority in parliamentary elections next month, vital to implement his plans for a swift tax reform.
Analysts say the vote has wide implications for the whole eurozone. Mr Hollande has vowed to rework a deal on government debt in member countries.
Mr Hollande has called for a renegotiation of a hard-won European treaty on budget discipline championed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mr Sarkozy.The socialist candidate has promised to raise taxes on big corporations and people earning more than 1m euros a year.He wants to raise the minimum wage, hire 60,000 more teachers and lower the retirement age from 62 to 60 for some workers.
Raise taxes and increase the minimum wage. We'll see how that works out.
Meanwhile, in the Middle East, another predictable development:
At a meeting of Syria's opposition, Muslim Brotherhood officials gather round Marxists colleagues, nudging them to produce policy statements for the Syrian National Council, the main political group challenging President Bashar al-Assad.
...the Brotherhood has recovered to become the dominant force of the exile opposition in the 14-month-old revolt against his son Bashar.
Careful not to undermine the council's disparate supporters, the Brotherhood has played down its growing influence within the Syrian National Council (SNC), whose public face is the secular Paris-based professor Bourhan Ghalioun.
Tello, however, acknowledged that the Brotherhood has clawed back influence inside Syria, especially in the cities of Homs and Hama and the rural province of Idlib on the border with Turkey, hotbeds of the revolt against Assad.
This is no small feat after three decades in the political wilderness. Unlike Arab rulers who tried to co-opt the movement by granting it limited operation, the Assads excluded it and all other opposition from the political system.
And below, Joel Rosenberg gives another nice summary of recent events of prophetic significance: