The French media wonder whether such discontent may lead to a constitutional crisis — or even a revolution. A French Spring. “Is this 1789?” asked Le Point, a right-of-center magazine. This is a reference to the Great Revolution of 1789 that terminated the Old Regime not just in France, but all over continental Europe. Le Point’s cover featured Hollande as Louis XVI, with a white wig and surrounded by bloodthirsty sans-culottes.
Le Nouvel Observateur, a left-wing magazine, offered a different yet equally ominous parallel: “Are the 1930s back?“ The 1930s were a time for both left-wing and right-wing revolutions in Europe: Stalin-style communism on one hand, Fascism and Nazism on the other hand. In France, it materialized in right-wing riots in 1934, in a Popular Front electoral victory in 1936, and finally — after a crushing military defeat at the hands of Nazi Germany in 1940 — in a far right dictatorship: the Vichy regime.