The following opinion piece appeared today on The Wall Street Journal's site: "Hollande's First Step Backward: Lowering the retirement age puts France closer to another downgrade":

"French President Franois Hollande made good Wednesday on his campaign pledge to lower France's minimum retirement age to 60 from 62. The 2010 law that lifted the retirement age was Nicolas Sarkozy's most important domestic-policy achievement, and it was sold as a way to keep France's public spending under control amid the Continent's then-burgeoning debt crisis.

"That was more than a year before France lost its triple-A credit rating and moved squarely into the 'at risk' camp. What a difference an election makes."