Polls are open in France where voting for the lower house of parliament begins, which will determine whether new President Francois Hollande's Socialists or rival conservatives control the government.
What we're seeing across Europe is a rebellion of voters against the austerity enforced on them.
Hollande said he hoped the Greek people will reaffirm their adherence to the euro zone in the upcoming election.
Like all former French presidents, Sarkozy — whose fondness for the symbols of wealth led to him being nicknamed President Bling Bling — is to receive Euros 6,000 every month as "pension".
Socialist Francois Hollande assumed France's presidency Tuesday, inheriting a country fearful for its financial future and jetting off immediately to Berlin to tackle his most pressing problem: Europe's debt crisis.
President Francois Hollande will first be flying to Germany to challenge Berlin's focus on austerity then to the United States to meet Obama and attend G8 and Nato summits.
Francois Hollande was sworn in as the president of France following a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in central Paris. Image of the handover ceremony.
Sarkozy will first have a holiday at his wife Carla Bruni's sprawling villa in south of France after handing over power to socialist president-elect Francois Hollande next week.
Outgoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged his divided conservative UMP party on Monday to pull together quickly after his election defeat.
Greek and French election results rattled investors on Monday by undermining confidence in the region's plans to cut spending and tackle its debt crisis, sending the euro to a three-month low.
Sarkozy sought to cast himself as powerless: On the 2012 campaign trail, he repeatedly pointed to Europe's financial crisis — in places like Italy and Greece — that endangered the eurozone.
Francois Hollande faces a short honeymoon after his election as France's first left-wing president in 17 years, with financial markets eager for clear signals on his policies and how hard he plans to push back against German-led austerity.
Socialist Hollande swept to victory in France's presidential election on Sunday in a swing to the left at that could start a pushback against German-led austerity.
France voted in a presidential run-off election on Sunday that could see Socialist challenger Francois Hollande defeat incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy by capitalising on public anger over the government's austerity policies.
If leftist Francois Hollande becomes French president, he might tell Barack Obama that France is speeding up its withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan — bucking NATO's slower timetable.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Francois Hollande clashed repeatedly in their only television debate but the conservative incumbent failed to land a knockout blow to shake his challenger's lead for Sunday's runoff.