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  1. France Main Page
  2. France Gains Territory in the Hundred Year's War
  3. Birth of French Republic
  4. Germany Occupies France During World War II
  5. Economic Troubles Under Mitterand
  6. Jacques Chirac Gains French Presidency
  7. Protests and Riots Result from Social Inequality and High Unemployment
  8. Nicolas Sarkozy Spearheads Effort to Improve U.S.–France Relations
  9. France Makes Headlines with Ban on Headscarves and DSK Scandal
  10. Sarkozy Loses Reelection Bid
  11. France Deploys Troops to Mali
  12. NSA Leaks Strain Relationship with the U.S. and Hollande's Party Suffers Huge Losses
  13. Sale of Warship to Russia Delayed; Begins Airstrikes in Iraq
  14. Seventeen Are Killed in Terrorist Attacks in France; Train Attack Thwarted by Americans and a Briton
  15. Three Coordinated Attacks by ISIS Kill Dozens in Paris
Sarkozy Loses Reelection Bid

In the first round of presidential elections in April 2012, incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy placed second behind Socialist candidate François Hollande . Marine Le Pen, the candidate of the far right National Front placed third. Much of the campaign focused on Europe's response to the debt crisis, with Hollande saying that the austerity measures pushed by Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel actually exacerbated the crisis by stifling growth. He also said he would generate revenue by increasing taxes on the wealthy. Throughout the runoff campaign, Sarkozy attempted to cozy up to Le Pen supporters by taking a hardline stance against immigration. He failed to win Le Pen's support, however, and prior to the runoff, she announced she was casting a blank vote. In the second round, Hollande defeated Sarkozy, 52% to 48%.

Hollande's Socialist Party won an absolute majority in both the Senate and National Assembly in June parliamentary elections. With the Socialists in control of the legislature, 21 out of 22 regions of France, and most of the government departments, the party has more power than any other government in the history of the Fifth Republic and puts Hollande in a position to follow through with his campaign pledge to increase spending.

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