The online news portal of TV5
European and world leaders reached out Monday to president-elect Francois Hollande, France's first Socialist head of state in 17 years, despite jitters about his pledge to renegotiate Europe's austerity pact.
The euro wobbled and world stock markets tumbled as the presidential vote in France and Greece's general election stoked anxiety about the fate of austerity policies designed to end the eurozone's crippling debt crisis.
But Chancellor Angela Merkel of European powerhouse Germany wasted no time in contacting Hollande after Sunday's election, even though she had made no secret of her support for toppled right-wing leader Nicolas Sarkozy.
Merkel, whose government has ruled out any renegotiation of the EU fiscal pact, nevertheless said she would welcome Hollande "with open arms" when he visits Berlin shortly after he takes office on May 15.
She said they agreed during a telephone call Sunday to work "well and intensively" together, adding: "Franco-German cooperation is essential for Europe and we all want Europe to succeed."
US President Barack Obama also telephoned Hollande to congratulate him and invite him to the White House this month, after Sarkozy became the latest European leader to be toppled by the eurozone crisis.
Obama "indicated that he looks forward to working closely with Mr Hollande and his government on a range of shared economic and security challenges," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
Hollande, 57, has called on the eurozone to broaden its focus from austerity to incorporate growth, a message he repeated in his victory speech, declaring, "Austerity can no longer be the only option."
European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said he shared Hollande's goal.
"We clearly have a common objective: relaunching the European economy to generate durable growth," he said. "We must now transform these aspirations into concrete actions."
Britain's conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, who had backed Sarkozy at the beginning of the election campaign, also vowed to work with Hollande to strengthen the Franco-British relationship, a spokesman said.
Cameron's domestic austerity drive, however, is at odds with the incoming French president's belief in government-driven growth.
Spain's conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose own spending cuts have sparked street protests in a country suffering recession and a 24-percent jobless rate, said he would speak to Hollande on Monday.
"Mr Hollande has won and it is my obligation to get along with him and try to work together for the benefit of Spain, France and Europe," Rajoy said on Spanish radio.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said he hoped for close cooperation aimed "at an increasingly efficient and growth-oriented union" between the two neighbours.
Hollande's win was "good for Poland, for France and for Europe" as it may signal Paris becoming more open to its international partners, a senior advisor to Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said, describing Hollande as a "very centrist socialist and a resolute European."
Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a message of congratulations and Bejing said it was ready to work with France to develop relations "from a strategic and long term perspective".
Japan also congratulated Hollande but said it will "carefully monitor" how Europe reacts to his election as the continent grapples with the debt crises, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura noting the health of the European economy "greatly affects" the fate of the ailing Asian giant.
In Damascus, a Syrian newspaper gave a jubilant welcome to the defeat of Sarkozy, whose foreign minister Alain Juppe had raised the prospect of military intervention to end the regime's bloody crackdown on protests.
"The Sarkozy-Juppe duo in the dustbin of history," gloated the front-page headline of the pro-government Al-Watan.
Tehran said it hoped for a "new era" in ties with France, where Sarkozy was one of the most vocal critics of Iran's nuclear programme, calling for Hollande's policies to "correct past wrong approaches".
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said he was hoping for a change in relations, which have been dogged by French opposition to Ankara's efforts to join the EU and French legislation on Armenian genocide.
"We hope the new era in France will be very different to the previous period in terms of Franco-Turkish relations," he said, voicing hope that "populist messages" during the election campaign would not translate into policy.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed hope friendly ties would continue, adding: "I look forward to a meeting with him to continue this important relationship -- important bilaterally and internationally".
Latin American nations also sent congratulations, led by economic powerhouse Brazil, while other left-leaning leaders including Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hailed Hollande's "clear victory" over Sarkozy.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said Hollande's win was "a triumph of democracy" and urged France "remain a strong supporter of global action to promote democracy, good governance and rapid socio-economic development in Africa".
In Tunisia, President Moncef Marzouki said his country wanted to strengthen ties with its former colonial master under Hollande.