Nightly News | May 07, 2012
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Overseas tonight in France and in Greece , voters have delivered a clear message being heard around the world. Financial crisis not withstanding, they've had enough belt tightening. In France , Sarkozy is out, a Socialist is in, and from Paris tonight, NBC 's Jim Maceda has our report on both fronts.
JIM MACEDA reporting: Francois Hollande swept into office on a wave of anger, voters fed up with too much austerity. France 's first Socialist president-elect in almost 25 years spent his first day at work, but already the honeymoon was over.
Ms. ANNE ELIZABETH MOUTET (Political Analyst): Hollande is going to make promises and signals to the left of his party. That is going to scare people.
MACEDA: And today, from America to Asia , markets were jittery, worried about Hollande 's pledge to tax and spend his way to growth and jobs. German Chancellor Angela Merkel , who rules over Europe 's largest economy, said she would welcome Hollande to Berlin with open arms, but made it clear she wouldn't budge from an austerity plan for Europe signed by 25 countries.
Chancellor ANGELA MERKEL:
MACEDA: 'We don't change everything we've already decided because of some election, whether in big or small countries,' she said. People were in a rebellious mood in Greece , as well. Angry Greek voters hammered mainstream parties who supported massive budget cuts as the price for a bailout. Now there's talk again of Greece pulling out of the eurozone, more uncertainty.
Mr. GEORGE TZOGOPOULOS (Hellenic Foundation for European Foreign Policy): And whether this drama will lead into a strategy remains to be seen in the next weeks.
MACEDA: Back in Paris , Hollande prepared for his first foray into world summitry with an invitation from President Obama to meet in Washington before the G-8 and NATO summits later this month. And the man he beat accepted the blame for his defeat. Nicolas Sarkozy , with his celebrity wife Carla Bruni , was a player on the world stage for five years, but French voters finally had enough of his brash style, his rich friends and his economic policies. It was time for someone new. But even some of those who voted for him worry that the Socialist Hollande will overspend France deeper into debt with ripple effects throughout Europe and across continents. Brian :
WILLIAMS: Jim Maceda in Paris for us tonight. Jim , thanks.