New French president’s first flight struck by lightning

May 15th, 2012 - 11:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, May 15 (IANS) A plane carrying new French President Francois Hollande to Germany was forced to return to Paris Tuesday after it was struck by a lightning, BBC reported.

Hours after taking oath as new French president, Hollande was on his way to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Hollande later took another plane and headed for Berlin where he was expected to reach at 19.30 hours GMT.

Earlier in the day, Hollande was sworn in for a five-year term at the Elysee Palace in Paris, becoming France’s first Socialist president in 17 years.

In his inauguration speech, Hollande said he wished to deliver a “message of confidence”.

“My mandate is to bring France back to justice, open up a new path in Europe, contribute to world peace and preserve the planet.”

The new president said he was fully aware of challenges facing France, which he summarised as “huge debt, weak growth, reduced competitiveness, and a Europe that is struggling to emerge from a crisis”.

Hollande also said he wanted other European leaders to sign an accord that “ties the necessary reduction of deficit to the indispensable stimulation of the economy”.

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