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French Socialist President-elect François Hollande won Sunday's run-off vote by a slim margin, edging out the incumbent conservative Nicolas Sarkozy.  
To say that this heralds a great change remains to be proven, as the challenges facing the 57-year-old election winner have defied other European leaders' best efforts in the current climate of crisis.  
Hollande is the first Socialist to be given the keys to France’s presidency since François Mitterrand left in 1995.
Clearly, the country expects a lot of him, and he will need the good will and cooperation of many, and concessions from both the right and left at home and abroad, if he is to succeed in any measure.
  Hollande advocates a programme of economic reinvigoration and social fairness in which austerity to reduce deficit and debt he says must not ignore alternative initiatives to encourage economic growth and a restoration of confidence.
Legislative elections in France are to be held this June, auguring a further political locking of horns.
In this, the head of state will have both the far right and left front to contend with, as French voters return to polling stations to choose the members of their parliament.




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Le regard d'Etienne Barthomeuf