The departure of one and the swearing in of another. Francois Hollande, France's first Socialist president in 17 years takes the reins from former French president Nicolas Sarkozy to much public fanfare.
In the wake of a European debt crisis, which for many countries, and most notably Greece who is finding the roads ahead to be rather slippery indeed, one could imagine the French people hanging on to the idea that a newly elected president will quite literally mean, 'a new start.' What Sarkozy failed to do as president, this self proclaimed 'normal' man of 57 will turn the tables of wealth and prosperity around for all.
With public sentiment and support recoiling from Nicolas Sarkozy's flair for the dramatic, a man who never shied away from the limelight and to many, promoted capitalism over employment and growth. We now see a total reverse in action.
Hollande, seemingly, at first glance, an almost Clouseau-like character, seen waving to supporters from his vehicle's open sunroof as it made its way slowly and deliberately up the magnificent Champs-Elysees avenue. And, undeterred by the savage, pelting rain totally drenching the new leader's Marks and Spencer's basement quality suit, which appeared to soak up every last drop, one wondered whether they should laugh or possibly even cry.
Festivities over with and presidential business around the corner, a waterlogged Hollande took off for Germany, and a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Although Monsieur Hollande and the German Chancellor come from diametrically opposite spheres in dealing with their individual economies, it is unanimous that the goal in mind is to deal with and solve Europe's escalating debt crisis.
With Greece almost toppling the House of Economic Cards, the survival rate for the rest of the eurozone, is shaky at best. New figures in show that the eurozone avoided a double-dip recession, but that can be argued, as it was primarily due to the growth and stability of the German economy and therefore, down to their very own concerted work ethic and psyche to push along and forward.
When Hollande was first declared president he immediately acknowledged the challenges that lay ahead: "a massive debt, weak growth, high unemployment, degraded competitiveness, and a Europe that is struggling to come out of crisis."
Hollande also promised to fight financial speculation and "open a new path" in Europe. Unlike Sarkozy and Merkel, he intends to fight against harsh austerity measures with a thinking that spending your way out of a crisis is the road to survival. It seems he knows nothing of Gordon Brown's disasterous journey down that route.
"To overcome the crisis that is hitting it, Europe needs plans. It needs solidarity. It needs growth. To our partners, I will propose a new pact that will tie the necessary reduction of public debt with the indispensable stimulus of the economy," he said. Hollande also pledged to bring "dignity and simplicity" to the presidential role. This was possibly viewed as a direct side swipe in the direction of France's former president, Nicolas Sarkozy who seemed to err on the side of elitism.
With France's economy at a merky standstill, most French people are looking towards this presidential change-over as a chance for a 'new start.' A fresh perspective is required. One also hopes, that the principle of, 'The Devil that you Know' versus, 'Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire' will be far removed thoughts once the new guy settles in to his new role and the concept of a real 'Clouseau' in charge, will never be brought up again.