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French president arrives in Berlin after lightning strikes jet

France's new president, Francois Hollande, was sworn in Tuesday just hours before traveling to Germany for a crucial meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel. The trip took an unexpected turn as Hollande's plane was forced to turn back after being struck by lightning en route to Berlin. ITV's James Mates reports.

Newly inaugurated French President Francois Hollande arrived in Berlin on Tuesday, but behind schedule for his first foreign policy engagement, after his plane was struck by lightning.

Hollande was flying to Germany to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel, but his plane was forced to return to Paris after the jolt, a presidential source said.

However, the Socialist head of state was unharmed and took off again in another plane, the source added.


Hollande was greeted by an honor guard in Berlin prior to his meeting with Merkel, which focused on Europe's debt crisis, The Associated Press reported.

In rainy France, Hollande sworn in as president

Hollande favors pro-growth measures, and hopes to temper Berlin-led austerity measures.

In a press conference after the meeting, Hollande said that both he and his German counterpart wanted Greece to remain in the euro currency zone and hoped voters there would signal that they agree in elections on June 17, Reuters reported.

"I hope that we can say to the Greeks that Europe is ready to add measures to help growth and support economic activity so that there is a return to growth in Greece,'' Hollande said, according to the report. "On growth, the method that we agreed is putting all ideas and all proposals on the table and seeing what legal means exist to put them into effect.''

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