Monday’s Postcard: the French elections at La Bastille, Paris

Posted on 07. May, 2012 by in Europe Travel, expat France, Photo Posts

Yesterday marked a turning point in France’s political history: for the first time in over 30 years, a socialist president was elected. François Hollande beat Nicolas Sarkozy by just a few points, which says a lot about the French’s state of mind in this economy and climate - they are unsure what to do, definitely hoping for the best. But at Place de la Bastille, and all over Paris, people were just ecstatic to have a new president, and were not afraid to show their love of both Hollande and its party.

Place de la Bastille was where Hollande’s supporters gathered, and there were LOTS of them. I was there the whole time, and it was a contagiously happy atmosphere. The promises of equity for all (immigrants, youth and homosexuals alike) and positive change had the French go left on this election, and if you ask me, it’s just as well.

People were everywhere around the Place de la Bastille, including on television trucks, on the Bastille monument itself and on surrounding balconies (whether the most courageous supporters climbed there or actually live in these houses remain to be seen). I left right after Hollande’s celebratory speech and by then, the crowd was estimated to over 100,000 people, of all kinds. Car horns concerts filled all of Paris on my way back to the hotel, while more and more people walked towards the Bastille, Hollande’s flag in hand, yelling “Sarkozy, c’est fini!”.

Here’s a little photo recap of the French elections at Place de la Bastille.

Fuck off, you jerk“. Sarkozy said that to a difficult demonstrator once - it was held back against him, to say the least.

Place de la Bastille right before the speech

Have you watched the French elections? Do you think it’s going to influence the Euro zone in a big way? Have you ever participated in a political event abroad?

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7 Responses to “Monday’s Postcard: the French elections at La Bastille, Paris”

  1. Andrea

    09. May, 2012

    I’m actually glad to see president bling-bling gone but I’m not really sure about the new guy either. Look forward to seeing how it goes!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      14. May, 2012

      Same here. I think a large number of people voted for Hollande because he’s new and he’s diametrically opposed to Sarkozy, and people had had enough of him. We’ll see!

      Reply to this comment
  2. Alexa Meisler

    10. May, 2012

    Definitely a reason to celebrate. I would love the promises to be taken in action soon. Everyone deserves equality.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      14. May, 2012

      Yes, especially after the Sarkozy period, a good dose of equity is in order.

      Reply to this comment
  3. I think it is always fun to experience an election in another country…. as long as there isn’t a riot of course.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      14. May, 2012

      There were lots of people in the streets, but it was a happy event, so it was good :-) I wouldn’t have felt so secure if it had been a negative result, though!

      Reply to this comment

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