Mr Hollande - the first Socialist to win the French presidency since Francois Mitterrand in the 1980s - gave his victory speech in his stronghold of Tulle in central France.Imagine being maxed out on all of your credit cards and on the verge of bankruptcy. You go to see a credit counselor, who proceeds to put you on a painful but necessary path that will bring you out of debt. A year goes by and that painful path is wearing on you. Along comes a loan shark who says he can make everything better.
He said he was "proud to have been capable of giving people hope again".
He said he would push ahead with his pledge to refocus EU fiscal efforts from austerity to "growth".
"Europe is watching us, austerity can no longer be the only option," he said.
After his speech in Tulle, Mr Hollande headed to Brive airport on his way to Paris to address supporters at Place de la Bastille. His voice hoarse, he spoke of his pride at taking over the mantle of the presidency 31 years almost to the day since Socialist predecessor Francois Mitterrand was elected.
France just listened to that guy.