François Hollande has been officially sworn in as the new President of France.
He took over from Nicolas Sarkozy in an official ceremony in Paris on Tuesday morning, nine days after defeating him in the French presidential election.
Much is being expected of the man who has no previous ministerial experience and is taking over a key European economy at a time of wider European crisis.
Analysts say Hollande had better hit the ground running.
Sarkozy handed over power in France after negotiating a strict fiscal treaty to deal with the eurozone debt crisis. Hollande intends to change all that, taking a message of growth to Berlin within hours of his inauguration.
He repeated his plan to couple growth with austerity at his inauguration. “I will propose to my European partners a pact that ties the necessary reduction of deficit to the indispensable stimulation of the economy,” he said.
But will Germany’s Chancellor be listening? Angela Merkel may have been weakened by disastrous election results in the country’s most populous state but she has stressed that that will not affect her tough European austerity policies.
Hollande’s first challenge will be to try to build a wider consensus for his approach while agreeing on how to cope with the Greek crisis.
With his first cabinet meeting, a trip to the US, a G8 summit and a NATO conference, Hollande’s first week as president has been described as a baptism of fire.
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