Paris: Francois Hollande became French president on Tuesday in an official handover ceremony that makes him the country's first Socialist leader since Francois Mitterrand.   

Outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy greeted Hollande on the steps of the Elysee presidential palace, and took him inside to transfer nuclear codes and other secret files ahead of a short swearing-in ceremony attended by around 400 guests.   

Hollande was due to fly to Berlin later in the day for his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


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