Hollande to be sworn in as new French president

By REUTERS
May 15, 2012 03:30

 
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PARIS - Francois Hollande will be sworn in as France's first Socialist president in 17 years in a hurried ceremony on Tuesday before a dash to Berlin to challenge German Chancellor Angela Merkel's focus on austerity policies.

Hollande, whose election comes as the euro zone is teetering back into crisis with fears about Greece's future in the single currency, will give his first presidential news conference in Berlin in the evening, flanked by the center-right Merkel.

His first words as president will be keenly watched by financial markets eager for reassurance that his push to tack pro-growth instruments onto Europe's budget discipline treaty will not sour the start of his relationship with Merkel.

Any indications on initial economic policy moves will also be scrutinized both outside France and inside, where frustration over rampant unemployment and a sickly economy were key factors behind conservative Nicolas Sarkozy's defeat.

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