Skip to comments.Nicolas Sarkozy Becomes New French President
Posted on 05/16/2007 3:53:31 AM PDT by Cincinna
NICOLAS SARKOZY BECOMES NEW FRENCH PRESIDENT
PARIS, May 16, 2007 (AFP) - Nicolas Sarkozy was officially invested as France's new president on Wednesday following a handover ceremony with outgoing head of state Jacques Chirac at the Elysee palace.
The 52-year-old right-winger was ceremonially proclaimed France's 23rd president by the head of the Constitutional Council, following a private meeting with Chirac, who leaves office after 12 years in power.
"From this day on you are the embodiment of France, you symbolise the Republic and you represent all French people," Jean-Louis Debre told Sarkozy after officially proclaiming the results of the May 6 election.
Sarkozy and Chirac exchanged a long handshake in the courtyard of the Elysee presidential palace before Chirac got into his car and was driven out of the palace for the last time.
In the symbolic handover ceremony, the 74-year-old Chirac passed on the launch codes to France's nuclear arsenal and briefed his successor on current agenda items.
Later the new president was to rekindle the flame on the tomb of the unknown soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe and lay a wreath at a statue of General Charles de Gaulle, France's post-war leader.
He will then fly to Berlin for a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, where the future of the European Union will be the main issue for discussion.
A former interior minister and head of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), Sarkozy was elected president on a promise of radical economic and social change, easily beating the Socialist Segolene Royal.
Nicolas Sarkozy met with former President Jacques Chirac this morning and escorted him to his car as Chirac departed from the Elysee Palace for the last time.
At the meeting, the nuclear codes were handed over.
M. Sarkozy was then installed as President, with friends, family and colleaugues watching on.
Prayers for Sarko, his family and friends. May he be blessed as he takes the reins.
Chirac can go straight to hell. But now maybe I can buy BF Goodrich tires again.
Nicolas Sarkozy took office as the new president of France on Wednesday, waving farewell to outgoing leader Jacques Chirac and promising to move quickly and boldly to equip the nation for a new era.
Chirac, ending 12 years in power, transferred the country's nuclear codes to President Sarkozy in a behind-closed-doors meeting that was a highpoint of the transfer of power.
A 21-gun salute signaled the change in leadership after the 74-year-old Chirac took his leave with a handshake at the entrance of the ornate Elysee Palace and a walk alone to a waiting car. Sarkozy, with a clenched jaw, returned the waves before turning to enter his new home for the next five years.
The blunt-talking, pro-market Sarkozy, 52 the sixth president of the Fifth Republic that was founded by Charles de Gaulle in 1958 was elected on May 6 on pledges of market reforms and a break with the past.
In his first speech as president, a determined Sarkozy noted that he was elected with a mandate for change that he was honor-bound to fulfill.
"The people conferred a mandate on me .... I will scrupulously fulfill it," he said, adding that further delays "will be fatal."
Chirac handed over the helm of the world's sixth-largest economy after two mandates marked by lackluster reforms and tensions in rundown, immigrant-packed housing projects far from the glory of the Elysee Palace.
Issues demanding attention include a jobless rate of more than 8 percent and the identity and cohesion of an old nation in a quickly changing world.
"Never has opposition to change been so dangerous for France," Sarkozy said, promising to restore the values of "work, effort, merit" and to invent new solutions.
Sarkozy said that issues of security, order, authority and results would be priorities of his administration.
Sounds good. Hope he means it.
This just in from TTC:
WILL-POWER AND AMBITION FORGED SARKOZY’S PATH TO PRESIDENCY
PARIS, May 16, 2007 (AFP) -
President Nicolas Sarkozy fought his way to the Elysee palace thanks to a combination of will-power, ambition and an unshakeable conviction that only his right-wing reforms can rescue France from decline.
Over two decades, the 52-year-old former interior minister methodically overcame a series of obstacles in his path to power, time and again deploying vast reserves of energy and determination in pursuit of his presidential goal.
After taking office Wednesday, he is now poised to deliver the radical changes that he has long proposed — changes based on his campaign themes of hard work, individual responsibility and respect for France’s “national values”.
Sarkozy’s political drive can be traced back to his youth as the child of a Hungarian immigrant father — and the grandson of a Greek Jew on his mother’s side — in the Paris suburb of Neuilly.
He has told interviewers that his father’s abandonment of the family four years after his birth left him with a powerful feeling of inadequacy, and a consequent need to keep proving himself to the world.
As a young man he reacted against the left-wing views associated with the May 1968 student uprising — a regular target in his rhetoric — and attached himself to the rising star of the Gaullist right, future president Jacques Chirac.
He set himself apart from France’s ruling establishment by not attending the elite National Administration School (ENA), instead training as a lawyer. Much of his appeal today rests on his claim to have worked his way to the top by personal effort.
Sarkozy entered elected office at just 28 as mayor of Neuilly, and came to national attention for his courageous handling of a hostage crisis in a kindergarten there in 1993.
As a junior minister he made a tactical error in 1995 when he backed a rival of Chirac for the presidency, and then spent several years in political purgatory. But at Chirac’s re-election in 2002 Sarkozy rejoined the government, and embarked seriously on his plan to succeed him.
For the last five years Sarkozy dominated French politics, serving at the interior ministry for four years, finance for one, and transforming the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) into a personal electoral machine.
His inexhaustible energy and blunt-speaking analysis of France’s social and economic problems won many admirers, but at the same time a view took hold that he was a dangerous authoritarian who would divide rather than unite the country as president.
For his opponents on the left, this fear was borne out in the 2005 riots by black and Arab youths — which Sarkozy was widely accused of stoking. In the election campaign, he was denigrated as a “brutal” and “dangerous” leader who flirted with the ideas of far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Sarkozy himself rejected the charges of racism — arguing that it is his policies of affirmative action and labour market reform that will do most for France’s poorest.
Sarkozy is married to a glamorous PR executive, Cecilia, with whom he has a ten year-old son. Their relationship has been rocky, though friends insist they are now firmly together. His hobbies are jogging, cycling and stamp-collecting.
He does not drink alcohol — which marks a major change for an Elysee staff accustomed to his beer-loving predecessor.
Does this mean they’ll strike the white flag?
What?!? They didn't kiss each other on each cheek? What is happening?
Mr President, here’s a request. Deport all those who practice or preach violence against civilization.
That’s my hope with him. Once we are overrun there may be a country to run to.
And all those riots did nothing to prevent it. Who would have imagined?
Hopefully, Sarkozy will become a great leader of, not only France, but of a new Europe!
German chancellor Merkel can not become the leader of a new Europe, as Germans do not believe enough in Germany.
British PM Blair did not and can not become the leader of a new Europe, as Britons do not believe enough in Europe.
Italian PM Prodi can not become the leader of a new Europe, as Italians do not believe enough in leadership.
Mr. Sakozy’s election was made possible by all those “riots”. The have had “enough”.
Give the French credit because they were able to wake up and smell the coffee before it was too late.
Is this supposed to signify how fierce French governments been through the decades?
In the meantime, Jacques Chirac was taken from the celebration to an undisclosed spot to be trussed up and guillotined for being such a “Frenchie” all those years.
“Give the French credit because they were able to wake up and smell the coffee before it was too late.”
I’ll do that.
For a long time (Western) continental Europeans have suffered from a stern belief in the 6 hour work day (for instance, look at the Volkswagen workers who some time ago worked only 28.8 hours a week! Presently, changes are underway), but few Europeans are stupid (like a lot of Latin Americans are in the department of economy).
I often travel around on the European continent (for business as well as pleasure) and my impression is that, recently, a new attitude towards work has developed.
Oh, how I love that picture of Chirac waving goodbye! I’ll bet there are a lot of Frenchmen who feel the same way.
What to call this?
39% of Europeans bemoan Jews' influence in business world...
Nothing about Chirac being led away in handcuffs. I guess the Presidential immunity from arrest lasts another month or so for him.
“Oh, how I love that picture of Chirac waving goodbye! Ill bet there are a lot of Frenchmen who feel the same way.”
- While Sarkozy represents “rethinking France”, belief in law and order and belief in the future of a great nation, Chirac represented status quo.
What kind of France would have developed from a Madame Royal victory in the recent presidential elections I’m glad I’ll never find out.
Europe is beginning to wake up from a long Socialist slumber.
Look at the largest economy on earth going to work!
There is always Mona Sahlin? :-P
Many Europeans as well as many Americans have prejudices toward Jews.
Some comments to the survey:
“The survey of 2,714 people in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland found that 51 percent of respondents believed that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the countries in which they live. In the Spanish sample, the figure was 60%. In France, only 39% agreed.”
- If I lived abroad I would be more loyal to Sweden than to that country in which I lived (although I would try and behave like a good ‘ambassador’ of my home country). In any case, I think most Jews who live in other countries than Israel are loyal to those countries as well.
“Poles were also most likely to subscribe to another long-standing belief, with 39% of respondents there saying they somewhat agree or strongly agree that the Jews “are responsible for the death of Christ.” Overall agreement with that statement was 20%.”
- According to what the Bible says, many Jews agreed to ‘punish’ Jesus for having claimed to be the King of the Jews. On the other hand, what has that got to do with Jews living today?
“An average of 44% across the countries surveyed said Jews “probably” have too much influence on international financial markets, while close to half believe that “American Jews control US policy in the Middle East,” the report said.”
- I agree this attitude is stupid. To think that Jews are influential in proportion to their numbers is nothing wrong. This means Jews are intelligent. On the other hand, believing that the Jews ‘control’ world economy or the single most influential country on earth is silly.
In both Europe and America there are lots of stupid people. Fortunately, there are lots of intelligent people as well!
“There is always Mona Sahlin? :-P
- I would prefer having Fleksnes for Swedish PM than Mona Sahlin (although he’s Norwegian). At least he’s not PC..
The clip linked to below is in Swedish, but I guess a Norwegian will understand most of the basic points it is making.
Mona Sahlin is not stupid, but she is one of the most irresponsible and also most PC politicians Sweden has ever had.
There is a difficult way ahead but I am sure that he will make it.
“There is a difficult way ahead but I am sure that he will make it.”
- As a European, I think it’s very comforting to find that newly elected, conservative leaders like Merkel and Sarkozy enjoy such a great support from Europeans at large.
Not all, but A LOT of Europeans today believe in:
- Sending the 6 hour work day to the scrap heap
- Close cooperation with our brothers and sisters in the US
Hopefully, more and more Europeans will develop these kind of attitudes.
Greetings to Germany from Sweden!
The Americans have a good motto: “United we stand, divided we fall”. That is not only true in America, it is true for the whole western world.
I am quite sure that overcomed socialist attitudes will be erasured trough the hard reality in Europe. No matter if we talk about Sweden, Germany, France, Poland or whatever.
No Italians do not believe in leadership. Winning the World Cup was an act of the leaderless.
“The Americans have a good motto: United we stand, divided we fall. That is not only true in America, it is true for the whole western world.”
- Couldn’t agree more!
“I am quite sure that overcomed socialist attitudes will be erasured trough the hard reality in Europe. No matter if we talk about Sweden, Germany, France, Poland or whatever.”
- Cheers to that my fellow European, Europe deserves better than Socialism!!!!!!!
Sarkozy’s a good man. There may be hope for France after all.
There are lots of good things to be said of the Italians, but due to some reason, Italian (domestic) politics has often been a complete chaos. Italians themselves say this is because of the large regional differences and the fact that Italy is a ‘young’ nation.
This is nonsense.
The same thing could be said about Germany or the US.
However, I’m optimistic about Italy. To begin with, Prodi might be a leftist, but he’s a blessing compared to Berlusconi. A man like Berlusconi will never be able to unite Italy although some of his views (like the need of investing in new European highways/motorways and most of all his opposition to Socialism) were sensible.
If all of Italy would display the same kind of spirit and make the same team effort as the national football team of Italy, the sky is the limit!
The economic base of Italy is sound and many Italians are extremely well educated, intelligent and creative.
Just like Germany and France, Italy deserves a better fate than Socialism.
Viva la vera Italia!!
- There is always hope.
Let us, together, advance, in unity, towards a new Renaissance for Western Civilization!
To begin with, just imagine what the US and the EU, the largest economies on earth, could accomplish together.
Best of regards from Europe!
I hope the US stays awake in 2008 and does NOT elect Hillary or Obama.
“I hope the US stays awake in 2008 and does NOT elect Hillary or Obama.”
- Yes, let’s hope so.
Best of regards.
Great pictures! Thanks for your continued posting of these important events!
He has to fly to Berlin to meet the German Chancellor on the day of his inauguration. Symbolically that doesn’t look so good.
Nice looking family. Girls are cute. Boys need a haircut.
This is great news. May God guide him down the bumpy road that he has taken.
“... right-wing reforms ... hard work, individual responsibility and respect for Frances national values.”
Sheesh... I get so tired of the press saying that Sarkozy is “right wing” when he is so left of center... just because he’s not committed to the hard-left socialist system presently installed in so much of Old Europe.
He looks like an alien.
Chirac and his political influence in France lasted WAY too long...
I imagine they learned that they could work forty hours or they could work sixty hours or they could work twenty-eight hours, they were still going to get the same amount of money. Now they may have latched on to the radical idea that if they work more hours they can make more money... c’est terrible! Qui mettent une idee comme ca en leurs tetes?
Good looking family.
I sincerely hope this begins a new era in our relationship with France. If it doesn’t, France will continue its plunge into the abyss of history.
And that's what I'm getting from all the candidates here in the US. SSDD. Even Romney promising to "bring change" to Washington is the same old tired political rhetoric.
just in case everyone forgot.
You don't hear that too much over here any more. Mostly you hear that "diversity is our strength." I will say though, that we in the Conservative movement have come a long way in making 'multiculturalism' a dirty word, like we did with liberal before it. The socialosts still believe in it, they just come with other euphemisms for it, i.e. nicer sounding ways of saying it.