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Hollande’s left-hand woman: President appoints first ever female head of security

Hollande’s left-hand woman: President appoints first ever female head of security
The new French president is keen to break associations with his predecessor - as well as cutting staff numbers and salaries, Francoise Hollande has named Sophie Hatt his head of security. It’s the first time a woman has held this position.

Socialist Hollande campaigned on promises to trim the financial deficit and lead a much less lavish lifestyle than conservative Nicolas Sarkozy.

His 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. Hollande's cabinet also underwent some changes and is now half women, half men – another pledge from his campaign.

Now the French president is re-organizing the elite presidential security team, reducing the staff from 93 to fewer than 60. He named 44-year-old Sophie Hatt to lead the team, noting in a statement that she is the first woman to hold such a post.

Meanwhile, his security detail is already facing some tough times. Hollande refused to move out of his rented Parisian apartment and into the Versailles palace, which makes protecting the new French leader that much harder.

His security team has also complained about the president’s preferred way of talking to his people: Hollande often walks deep into crowds, where protecting him from a potential threat becomes much harder.