Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Hollande Names Ayrault New French Prime Minister

Hollande Names  Ayrault New French Prime Minister

PARIS— Francois Hollande was sworn in Tuesday as France's new president — the first Socialist to lead the country since 1995 — and within hours named lawmaker Jean-Marc Ayrault as his new prime minister.

Ayrault, who leads the Socialists in Parliament, is a German speaker and a former teacher of the language of Goethe. That could be a key advantage for Hollande, whose success as president — as well as the fate of the entire 17-nation eurozone — may depend on his relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Underscoring the importance of that relationship, Hollande headed to Germany for a visit on the same day that he took office.

Ayrault (ay-ROW) and Hollande are said to be very close; they even sit next to each other in France's National Assembly chamber.

The 62-year-old Ayrault has served as a deputy in that lower house since 1986. He is also mayor of Nantes, a city on the Atlantic coast. (AP)