France Swears In Hollande
Nicolas Sarkozy has left the building
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2012 5:56 AM CDT
Francois Hollande is awarded "Grand Maitre" in the Order of the Legion of Honor from General Jean-Louis Georgelin, as he is officially named France's president, Tuesday, May 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/Fred Dufour, Pool)
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(Newser) – France today installed Socialist Francois Hollande as its new president for the next five years, replacing conservative Nicolas Sarkozy with a mandate to ease up on the austerity measures with which Europe has fought its economic crisis. Hollande, the first Socialist to have access to France's nuke codes in 17 years, promptly called for "compromise" in Germany's stripped down approach to the crisis, reports the BBC. He'll name a prime minister and fly to Berlin this afternoon to face the music—and Angela Merkel, who supported Sarkozy—there.

"We are a great nation. Throughout its history, France has overcome the challenges it faced," he said, during a speech at a muted swearing-in ceremony. "Each time, the people have prevailed while remaining faithful to themselves. My mandate is to bring France back to justice, open up a new way in Europe, contribute to world peace and preserve the planet."

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