News President François Hollande and First Lady Valérie Trierweiler

It is understood that she refused to put her name to the declaration

Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande mark VE Day in Paris

In his last state ceremony as France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy led commemorations today in Paris marking the end of World War II in Europe, standing side-by-side with the man who ousted him from power.

Carla Bruni Sarkozy's judgement regarding what to wear and when and how to wear it is faultless

Carla Bruni Sarkozy: Au revoir to France's first lady of style

Carla Bruni Sarkozy may have her detractors but never let it be said that she doesn’t know how to dress.

Markets plunge after Greece and France election results

Renewed uncertainty over Europe's ability to deal with its spawning debt crisis following elections in Greece and France hammered stock markets today, with the main exchange in Athens down a massive 8%.

Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni waving as they leave after voting in the second round yesterday

Nicolas Sarkozy wanted to fix France, but leaves a broken nation

Nicolas Sarkozy was a victim of the financial crisis – and his own craving for power

Ready To Wear: The merging of function with fashion may be a risky business

Equally bizarre to me is this season's love affair with printed denim

Leading article: François Hollande won heads, but not hearts

France's presidential election was a close-run affair, far closer than the polls had suggested through most of the long and often ill-tempered campaign. So, while François Hollande's victory gives France its first Socialist President for 16 years and makes Nicolas Sarkozy France's first one-term President for more than a generation, it represents something less than the historic turnaround Mr Hollande's supporters rushed to claim. France, like so many European countries, remains finely balanced between left and right. A crisis such as the one that it, and the Continent as a whole, faces, is not resolved by an election; in some ways, an election merely highlights the divisions.

Social Party candidate, Francois Hollande is the new president of France

Socialist Francois Hollande wins French presidency

Socialist Francois Hollande defeated conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy today to become France's next president, heralding a change in how Europe tackles its debt crisis and how France flexes its military and diplomatic muscle around the world. 

Face off: Can a victorious François Hollande, top, live up to Europe's expectations

Olaf Cramme: Hollande will go via Brussels to rescue France

A victory for the Left in today's French election would help those who want more regulation on the City of London

Mary Dejevsky: Don't second-guess French voters

It is fashionable to lament the death of politics, and the lacklustre campaigns waged in many of our cities for yesterday's local elections did little to contradict that. Anyone looking for signs of political life in recent weeks, however, had only to look across the Channel to rediscover politics, red in tooth and claw.

François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy trade blows on TV as president fights for career

As they exchanged verbal blows, the two candidates often reduced the two presenters refereeing the debate to bystanders

More than 100,000 supporters of Nicolas Sarkozy attended a rally for the French President at the Trocadero square in Paris yesterday

Sarkozy fails to convince far-right vote as Le Pen urges her supporters to abstain

Parties use May Day to rally support ahead of Sunday's presidential election run-off

Margareta Pagano: If Hollande takes victory he will need to win Merkel over too

Midweek View: Hollande's first visit as president should be to Berlin to persuade Merkel that austerity alone is not enough

Sarkozy looks to appeal to the far right over immigration

French president Nicolas Sarkozy, seeking support from the far right as he fights an uphill battle for a second term, said today that his country has too many immigrants and is failing to integrate them.

Nicola Sarzoky said the allegation was inspired by the Hollande campaign

Sarkozy to sue over claim Gaddafi funded campaign

The ghost of the late Muammar Gaddafi continued to haunt the French election campaign yesterday as a poll showed President Sarkozy gaining some ground on the Socialist frontrunner, François Hollande.

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003