Francois Hollande Takes Office in France

Posted May 15th, 2012 at 3:10 am (UTC-5)
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Francois Hollande will be sworn in Tuesday as France's new president, then head to Berlin for his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the European sovereign debt crisis.

Mr. Hollande will arrive in at the Elysee Palace in Paris for a brief meeting with outgoing president Nicolas Sarkozy. After the swearing-in, Mr. Hollande is expected to name Jean-Marc Ayrault, the parliamentary leader of the Socialist party, as prime minister. Ayrault will name his cabinet on Wednesday.

The new French president will use his meeting with Ms. Merkel to press his campaign pledge to renegotiate the recent Eurozone treaty imposing budget austerity among its member nations. Mr. Hollande is calling for a greater emphasis on growth, but the German leader says the pact is non-negotiable.

Later in the week Mr. Hollande flies to the United States where he will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday before attending a Group of Eight (G-8) summit at the presidential retreat outside Washington, and a NATO summit in Chicago.