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.
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