President inaugurated and PM appointed


Fran├žois Hollande was sworn in yesterday as the new president of France, the first Socialist president since Fran├žois Mitterrand in 1988.

President Hollande then appointed Jean-Marc Ayrault as his new prime minister before leaving for Berlin to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Prime Minister Ayrault, 62, is a teacher by profession but has been a politician for much of his life. He is currently Mayor of Nantes and was President of the Socialist Party (PS) group in the French National Assembly from 1997 until his appointment yesterday. The Prime Minister studied German at university and has close ties with a number of German politicians.

In his first press conference with Angela Merkel, President Hollande threw out protocol and made it clear that in their first meeting of European heads of state he would want to see all suggestions for growth laid out on the table for discussion.

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