New French leader scales back his security team

AP News
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Posted: Jun 01, 2012 3:40 AM
New French leader scales back his security team

France's new President Francois Hollande is shrinking his presidential security team and naming a woman to lead it for the first time.

Hollande, a Socialist, campaigned on promises to trim the deficit and be a more "normal" leader than his flashy predecessor, conservative Nicolas Sarkozy.

The new government's first move was to trim members' salaries, and Hollande took a train to his first European Union summit instead of a plane.

Now Hollande's office says he is re-organizing the elite presidential security team, including a reduction in staff from 93 to less than 60.

He named Sophie Hatt to lead the team, noting in a statement Thursday night that she is the first woman in the post. Hollande's Cabinet is half women, half men, another pledge from his campaign.