PARIS (AP) — Socialist Francois Hollande has declared victory in France's presidential election, railing against austerity measures and urging national unity after a bitter campaign against Nicolas Sarkozy.
The mild-mannered Hollande promised help for France's downtrodden after years under the tough-talking Sarkozy, a man many voters blamed for economic troubles.
Hollande says austerity should no longer be inevitable and said European partners should be relieved and not frightened by his presidency.
Hollande told huge crowds of supporters in his electoral fiefdom of Tulle in central France on Sunday that he was "proud to have been capable of giving people hope again. We will succeed!"