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Hollande wins French presidency, signals revisit of austerity (+video)

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Hollande said the eyes of Europe were upon France over how it would respond to Europe's economic crisis. He signaled that the austerity-only policy of government budget cuts, championed by Germany in partnership with Sarkozy, must be leavened with policies of growth fueled by government spending.

With Europe in a banking and debt crisis, the election turned on the question of austerity vs. growth policies, analysts say, as well as the divisive figure of Sarkozy himself, and whether France would accept his turn to themes of the far right.

President-elect Hollande, whose supporters this evening gathered at the Bastille in Paris, promised national unity, social justice, and economic growth. Those themes increasingly contrasted with Sarkozy, who veered to the nationalist and often socially-divisive far right. Sarkozy also found himself lashed to the austerity policy of Germany’s Angela Merkel, even as that policy of budget slashing is seen as bringing down six European governments and anger in the streets of Europe.

'The end of arrogance'

Socialist Party No. 2 Harlem Desir announced moments after 8 pm that, “On this May 6, with François Hollande, it's the Republic that's coming back. France has refused the slide of Sarkozyism and has chosen to take back control of her destiny. It's the end of arrogance: This May 6 is a day of victory for all Republicans."

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