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Master tactician: Manuel Valls. © Fondapol

François Hollande is a remarkable tactician. A master at surfing the currents of the Socialist Party, he has covered up cold-blooded manoeuvering with well-told jokes.

But such skills are no replacement for strategy. Too cautious to take straightforward decisions, Hollande has trapped himself in a mess of unfulfilled promises, verbal incantations and half-baked reforms. This has irritated taxpayers, discouraged business, disappointed socialist traditionalists and done little to improve the dire condition of the economy and national psyche. No one has deciphered what his…

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