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Francois Hollande Changes Plane After Presidential Jet Hit By Lightning

Reuters  |  Posted: Updated: 05/17/2012 10:34 am

Francois Hollande Lightning
French President Francois Hollande and his companion, Valerie Trierweiler, arrive to attend a ceremony at the statue of Jules Ferry at the Tuileries gardens in Paris, France, after the handover ceremony, Tuesday, May 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Guibbaud, Pool)

PARIS, May 15 (Reuters) - A presidential jet carrying newly inaugurated French President Francois Hollande was hit by lightning en route to Berlin and forced to turn back to Paris, but the Socialist was unharmed and took off again in another plane, a presidential source said.

Hollande, who was sworn in as president on Tuesday morning, was expected to arrive with a delay of one and a half hours for his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after he set off in the second aircraft. (Reporting By Nicholas Vinocur)

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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François Hollande has been in politics for decades. He served as an economic adviser under Mitterand, was a member of parliament, and was leader of the French socialist party for more than 10 years. Yet Hollande never has held office in the national government.
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