6 May 2012
Socialist Francois Hollande swept to victory in France’s presidential election on Sunday in a swing to the left at the heart of Europe that could start a pushback against German-led austerity.
Hollande beat conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy by a decisive 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent, based on partial results, bringing the centre-left back to government after a decade in opposition.
The outgoing president conceded defeat within 20 minutes of the last polls closing at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT), telling supporters he had telephoned Hollande to wish him good luck.
“I bear the full responsibility for this defeat,” Sarkozy said, indicating he would withdraw from frontline politics.
“My place can no longer be the same. My involvement in the life of my country will be different from now on.”
Punished for his failure to rein in 10 percent unemployment and for his brash personal style, Sarkozy was the 11th euro zone leader in succession to be swept from power since the currency bloc’s debt crisis began in 2009…
…Little known outside France, Hollande will soon have his diplomatic skills tested at a Chicago NATO summit in late May and a Group of 20 summit in Mexico in late June. The former Socialist Party chief has never held a ministerial post.
The complete article is at Newsmax.