May 15 - Newly elected Francois Hollande meets outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy at the presidential palace for an official exchange of power. Lindsey Parietti reports.
France's new president Francois Hollande. After battling in a close and sometimes surprising race, Hollande officially took the reins from Nicolas Sarkozy Tuesday. The meeting at the presidential palace is believed to have included an exchange of nuclear codes ahead of a swearing-in ceremony that made Hollande the country's first Socialist president in 17 years. In contrast to his predecessor's image, Hollande said his tenure would be "dignified" and "sober". After leading a procession to the Arc de Triomphe and paying tribute to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Hollande was scheduled to travel to Berlin. He is expected to push for adding stimulus measures to a European austerity pact created to stem the EU's economic crisis. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters