François Hollande scored a decisive victory in the French presidential election last night and now has seven weeks to persuade the world that it can live with the new, Socialist face of France.
President Nicolas Sarkozy became only the second incumbent in a half century to be booted out of the Elys&eeacute;e Palace. In a humiliating disavowal of his erratic behaviour and record in office, and his use of divisive Far Right themes to avoid defeat, 52 per cent of French voters chose to entrust their destiny to the moderate but inexperienced Mr Hollande.
The President-elect told a cheering crowd in his rural fiefdom of Tulle in south west France last night that he wanted to be judged on his capacity to revive the "French dream". This meant, he said, "fairness to all", opportunities for "the young" and "better lives, from one generation to the next"."Europe is looking at us," he said. "In many European countries this victory will be received with relief and hope...as a sign that the austerity-only approach to the crisis is not inevitable."
He likes to call himself "Mr. Normal," which is a decided change from the many other epithets, like "Marshmallow man," that have been tossed his way over the years.
Early life and background
Hollande was born in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, Upper Normandy, to a middle-class family. His mother, Nicole Frédérique Marguerite Tribert (1927–2009), was a social worker, and his father, Georges Gustave Hollande, an ear, nose, and throat doctor who "had once run for the extreme right in local politics".The surname "Hollande" is "believed to come from Calvinist ancestors who escaped Holland (the Netherlands) in the 16th century and took the name of their old country."Hollande was raised Catholic.
He attended Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle boarding school, then HEC Paris, École nationale d'administration, and the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies). He graduated from ENA in 1980.He lived in the United States in the summer of 1974 while he was a university student.Immediately after graduating, he was employed to work as a councillor in the Court of Audit.
Let's hope he brings peace and prosperity in France.
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