May 15 - French president Francois Hollande was delayed but undeterred for his first meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the euro zone crisis. Deborah Gembara reports.
France's new president Francois Hollande was on solid ground in Germany, seen here with Chancellor Angela Merkel, after the sort of day he will likely never forget. Tuesday morning -- he was sworn in as the country's newest leader. He then bid adieu to his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy in a manner some are describing as terse. No wave from the palace steps or pat on the back like Sarkozy gave his predecessor. Just a simple handshake. From there, Hollande boarded a plane for Germany. It was then that lightning struck...literally. While he was unharmed, Hollande's jet was forced to return to France where he boarded another plane. The meeting between the two leaders just an hour and a half later than planned seemed to underscore the urgency of the euro zone crisis. SOUNDBITE: French president Francois Hollande saying (French): "We want to work together for the good of Europe but we also want to mobilize all of the other countries of Europe. I also wanted to come to talk to the chancellor about our work for the coming weeks and months." It was a sentiment echoed by Merkel. SOUNDBITE: Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel saying (German): "We know the responsibility we have as Germany and France for a good development of Europe and I think in the nature of this spirit, we will find the solutions for the individual problems." She also said the two leaders want Greece to remain in the euro zone Many are looking for signs of tension between the two heads of Europe's biggest economies particularly in light of criticism Hollande directed at Merkel during his campaign. Deborah Gembara, Reuters