Celebrations over, president-elect Hollande now faces a baptism of fire

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France’s newly-elected president François Hollande has promised he will seek a reform of European austerity policies, beginning with a re-negotiation of the so-called fiscal compact treaty, and the introduction of economic growth initiatives. But his programme faces stern opposition from Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has ruled out any change to the fiscal compact. With a busy international agenda ahead, including summits of the G8 and NATO later this month, and crucial parliamentary elections in France in June, Hollande's room for negotiations before an EU summit on June 28th is uncomfortably tight. Meanwhile, the deepening political crisis in Greece continues to threaten an explosion of the eurozone. Lénaïg Bredoux and Ludovic Lamant report on the official and unofficial manouevering as the new French president prepares for his first major test in power.

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“ It is not possible to renegotiate the fiscal pact ”, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert, during a news conference held just hours after François Hollande’s election as French president on Sunday evening.