- (PHOTO: REUTERS/Charles Platiau)
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was defeated Sunday by Francois Hollande. Victory on Hollande's part could reveal the anger of the French people, who have long been suffering from a struggling economy.
Hollande became the first socially elected president of France in over 15 years, defeating Sarkozy with the close but undisputed victory of 51.6 percent versus 48. 4. Hollande's election could reveal a major shift for not only France, but also Germany, who has long worked with Sarkozy to resolve the European debt crisis.
While both candidates promised a balanced budget within the next five years, voters appeared to favor Hollande's "new direction" campaign. To reduce debt, Hollande has promised a treaty with the European Union to produce economic growth in addition to a 75 percent tax rate on those who will earn over one million Euros and increased corporate taxes.
Taking on his new position, Hollande assured "a fresh start" for all adding that "austerity need not be Europe's fate."
"Too many divisions, too many wounds, too many ruptures, too many cuts have separated our fellow citizens from one another. That's all finished," Hollande said to a cheering crowd. "I take the measure of the honor that's been given me and the challenge that awaits me."
Sarkozy accepted his defeat, admitting that it was his own fault for not pulling together enough supporting votes.
"I take the responsibility for this loss," Sarkozy said. "I'm ready to become a French person among French people, and more than ever I have the love for my country deeply ingrained in my heart."
Sarkozy also made a public effort to support Hollande in his endeavors.
"François Hollande is the president of the republic, he must be respected," Sarkozy said after calling to congratulate Hollande on his victory, according to The New York Times. "I want to wish him good luck in the midst of these tests."