Fact File: Francois Hollande

 

It was an accident of fate – or perhaps libido – which brought Francois Hollande to the forefront of European politics.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was the clear favourite in the French Socialist Party’s presidential primary until he was derailed by a lurid sex scandal in 2011. By comparison to both DSK and the former French leader Nicolas “President Bling Bling” Sarkozy, Hollande is a less immediately intriguing character. Having nicknamed himself ‘Mr Normal’, he apparently likes it that way.

During Hollande’s three decades in politics, he became a powerful provincial politician with national influence, but often took a backseat to his partner of 30 years, the former presidential candidate Segolene Royal. In 2006, after four children, their relationship ended and Hollande began seeing the journalist Valerie Trierweiler.

In May 2012, Hollande defeated Nicolas Sarkozy to become the first socialist leader of France for nearly 20 years. His election promised to change not only the pro-austerity direction of Europe’s prevailing winds, but also the French national identity. Goodbye President Bling Bling and hello Mr Normal. 

The Numbers

75% - Tax rate proposed by Hollande for France’s highest earners. Source: BBC News

2” – Height difference between Hollande (5’7”) and his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy (reportedly 5’5”). Source: Reuters

€1.2m – Personal wealth declared by Hollande upon taking power in France. Source: The Irish Independent

51.7% - Votes polled by Hollande in the second-round run-off of the presidential elections. Source: BBC News

Further Reading

The NS Profile: Francois Hollande, Dennis MacShane, New Statesman, 2012

The battle between Hollande and Sarkozy is trading on France’s deepest fears, not hopes, Andreas Whittam Smith, The Independent, 2012

Francois Hollande: Gallic charm offensive, John Lichfield, The Independent, 2012

Francois Holland’s secret weapon: cracking jokes, John Laurenson, BBC News, 2012

Timeline

1954 – Francois Gerard George Hollande is born in Rouen in upper Normandy

1980 – Hollande graduates from elite training college, the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, where he met his partner of thirty years Segolene Royal

1997 –  Hollande is elected First Secretary (or leader) of the Socialist Party

2001 – 2008 –  Hollande serves as Mayor of Tulle

June 2011 –  Former French President Jacques Chirac announces his support for Hollande

May 2012 –  Hollande is elected 24th President of France

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst / Helpdesk Support Analyst

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is the UK's leading ...

Recruitment Genius: Conveyancing Fee Earner / Technical Support

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced Fee Earner/Techn...

Recruitment Genius: Data Administrator

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of this mu...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - £40,000 - £70,000 OTE

£40000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness