France's new President, the conservative Valery Giscard d'Estaing, defeated his Socialist-Communist opponent, Francois Mitterand, by less than two percent in the national presidential elections on Sunday (19 May).
SV & CU Votes out of ballot boxes, counted. (5 shots)
CU Giscard speaking (in French)
SV & GV Girls holds Giscard sing and leaflets in in on Champs Elysee.
SV PAN Crowd chants Giscard, waving banners and flags (3 shots)
SV PAN Cars and supporters down Champs Elysee chanting.
SV & MV PAN Crowds (2 shots)
"One could of course have expected a larger margin, but you know that in a Presidential election it is the decision and the responsibility that matters. You did make the decision and I will exercise the responsibility. During the campaign I understood that you wanted a change - political, economic and social change. You will not be disappointed, because it is really a change I will bring about together with you. I know that from today a new era in French politics is beginning, the rejuvenation of France."
Initials VS 18.58 VS 19.16
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Background: France's new President, the conservative Valery Giscard d'Estaing, defeated his Socialist-Communist opponent, Francois Mitterand, by less than two percent in the national presidential elections on Sunday (19 May).
It was the narrowest margin in French political history and the closest French voters have recently come to installing a left-of-centre candidate in the Elysee Palace.
The narrowness of the contest was acknowledged by Giscard d'Estaing. He told supporters he had hoped for a more decisive victory but the decision had been made and he was accepting the responsibility to "rejuvenate" France.
The conservative victory was greeted with some relief in European capitals where Giscard d'Estaing is seen as more European oriented than M. Mitterand.
The following is a translation of part of Giscard d'Estaing's victory speech:-
SYNOPSIS: He also praised M. Mitterand's performance and predicted his continued strong influence in French politics.
As soon as the outcome of the election was known Giscard's supporters burst into noisy jubilation on the streets of Paris. Thousand of supporters thronged the Champs Elysee holding election banners aloft, cheering and tooting car horns.
But while the celebrations continued, politicians were already drawing up the post-election battle-lines. Left-wing unions were reportedly bitter with threats of strike action within the next fortnight. However, the Communist Party leader. Georges Marchais, said that despite the bitterness of workers at the result he was advising moderation and no ill-timed demonstrations. M. Gaston Defferre, tipped as Prime Minister if M. Mitterand had won, predicted the new President would have trouble governing the country. But there are already indications that Giscard D'Estaing is moving to placate the left with suggestions that his new Prime Minister may be a politician with left-wing sympathies.