Francois Hollande slashes security team


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The Independent Online

France's new president Francois Hollande is shrinking his presidential security team and naming a woman to lead it for the first time.

Socialist Mr Hollande campaigned on promises to trim the financial deficit and be a more "normal" leader than his flashy predecessor, conservative Nicolas Sarkozy.

His new government's first move was to trim members' salaries, and Mr Hollande took a train to his first European Union summit instead of a plane.

Now Mr Hollande's office says he is re-organising the elite presidential security team, including a reduction in staff from 93 to fewer than 60.

He named Sophie Hatt to lead the team, noting in a statement last night that she is the first woman in the post.

Mr Hollande's cabinet is half women, half men, another pledge from his campaign.