François Hollande defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency, with a final tally of 51.6%, against 48.38%. Change was also in the air in elections in Greece and Serbia.
Europe is changing: both French and Greeks voters made that clear Sunday night, with the same wind of change possibly blowing towards Serbia, which also held the first round of its presidential election.
In France, Socialist candidate François Hollande defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidency, with 51.6% of the votes, against 48.38%. But according to Le Monde, the clock is already ticking for Hollande, who is taking on the burden of not just France's economic crisis, but a "sick Europe." Calls have been made for Hollande to meet Angela Merkel as soon as he takes office, to tackle with the current financial crisis, notably the continued crisis with Greek debt.
Greece also voted on Sunday in Parliamentary elections, punishing the country's leading parties. Neither left-leaning PASOK nor center-right New Democracy succeeded in winning a majority of the Parliamentary seats. Most troubling, a Neo-Nazi group also entered Parliament, which some see as a backlash against austerity measures, CNN reports from Athens. A new coalition government should be formed with a third party, which could upend the entire political system.
In Serbia, President Boris Tadic arrived first in the opening round of the presidential election, with 26.8% of the votes on Sunday. But he was far from winning the absolute majority as his main opponent, Tomislav Nikolic, won 25.6% of the votes. The second round will be held on May 20.
Both results made it clear that a prompt reflection on Europe's future had to be held.