French president Nicolas Sarkozy conceded today to Francois Hollande after exit polls showed just a slight margin of win on Hollande’s behalf–%50.8 to %49.2–shocking his supporters and campaign members.
Sarkozy, who has been in office since 2007, said he accepts full responsibility for the defeat due to the public backlash he received concerning France’s unemployment rate, which is at around 10%.
“I carry the entire responsibility for this defeat, and I’m going to say why. I fought for the values of responsibility, and I’m not a man who does not accept his responsibilities,” Sarkozy said during his announcement.
Sarkozy’s concession comes at an important time for Europe’s future, as several other leaders have been knocked from their posts during the recent economic crisis. Sarkozy recently addressed his country and gave the opinion that France had simply welcomed more people than they could manage.
Francois Hollande has beaten Nicolas Sarkozy by about four points, first results suggest.