President Hollande's Plane Hit By Lightning On Way To Meet Merkel

Posted: Updated: 15/05/2012 18:43

Newly-elected French president Francois Hollande was forced to return to Paris after the plane carrying him to a meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel was hit by lightning.

Hollande boarded his presidential jet on Tuesday to head for Berlin just hours after he was sworn in as France's new leader.

The socialist president is said to have never met his German counterpart, and the summit is expected to be a difficult one as the two leaders differ on how best to tackle the crisis in the eurozone.

While Merkel favours austerity and fiscal discipline, Hollande has said there needs to be a compromise with more focus put on creating growth.

Merkel said she would welcome Hollande to Berlin with "with open arms", however there could be a few awkward moments over dinner as she publicly supported his rival Nicolas Sarkozy in the election.

In spite of the setback, Hollande, possibly still dripping wet from the downpour that caught him during his inauguration, was able to hop onto a second plane in Paris in order to make another attempt to reach the German capital.

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  • An employee sweeps up the red carpet as

    An employee sweeps up the red carpet as photographers take pictures at the entrance of the Elysee presidential Palace before the formal handover of power ceremony between France's president Francois Hollande and his sucessor Nicolas Sarkozy on May 15, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • French Socialist party's leader, Martine

    French Socialist party's leader, Martine Aubry and her husband Jean-louis Brochen arrive at the Elysee presidential Palace to attend the formal handover of investiture ceremony between France's incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy and his successor Francois Hollande, on May 15, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Former French Socialist Party Prime Mini

    Former French Socialist Party Prime Minister Pierre Mauroy (C) arrives at the Elysee presidential Palace to attend the formal handover of investiture ceremony between France's incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy and his successor Francois Hollande, on May 15, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Paris' Socialist mayor, Bertrand Delanoe

    Paris' Socialist mayor, Bertrand Delanoe arrives at the Elysee presidential Palace to attend the formal handover of investiture ceremony between France's incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy and his successor Francois Hollande, on May 15, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • French First Lady Carla Bruni (L) and Va

    French First Lady Carla Bruni (L) and Valerie Trierweiler, companion of France's President Francois Hollande pose prior to the start of the investiture ceremony between France's president Francois Hollande and his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy on May 15, 2012 at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris. AFP PHOTO MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/GettyImages)

  • France's president-elect Francois Hollan

    France's president-elect Francois Hollande arrives at the Elysee presidential Palace in Paris, before being officially invested as France's president on May 15, 2012, during the formal investiture ceremony. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/GettyImages)

  • France's President Francois Hollande (R)

    France's President Francois Hollande (R) shakes hands with his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy (L) prior to the start of the investiture ceremony on May 15, 2012 at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris. AFP PHOTO MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/GettyImages)

  • France's President Francois Hollande (R)

    France's President Francois Hollande (R) listens to his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy (L) prior to the start of the investiture ceremony on May 15, 2012 at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris. AFP PHOTO MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/GettyImages)

  • France's President Francois Hollande (R)

    France's President Francois Hollande (R) shakes hands with his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy (L) prior to the start of the investiture ceremony on May 15, 2012 at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris. AFP PHOTO MEHDI FEDOUACH (Photo credit should read MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Valerie Trierweiler, compagnion of Franc

    Valerie Trierweiler, compagnion of France's president-elect Francois Hollande arrives at the Elysee presidential Palace in Paris, to attend an official investiture ceremony during which her compagnion will be invested as France's president, on May 15, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/GettyImages)

  • France's President Francois Hollande (R)

    France's President Francois Hollande (R) shakes hands with his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy (L) prior to the start of the investiture ceremony on May 15, 2012 at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris. AFP PHOTO / MEHDI FEDOUACH (Photo credit should read MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/GettyImages)

  • France's president Nicolas Sarkozy (L) w

    France's president Nicolas Sarkozy (L) welcomes his successor Francois Hollande upon his arrival at the Elysee Palace for the formal handover of power ceremony on May 15, 2012. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • France's president Nicolas Sarkozy (L) w

    France's president Nicolas Sarkozy (L) welcomes his successor Francois Hollande upon his arrival at the Elysee Palace for the formal investiture ceremony between France's president Francois Hollande and his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, at the Elysee presidential Palace, on May 15, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Francois Hollande is awarded "Grand Mait

    Francois Hollande is awarded 'Grand Maitre' in the Order of the Legion of Honor, from chancellor of France's National Order of the Legion of Honor, General Jean-Louis Georgelin, as he is officially named as France's president on May 15, 2012 at the Elysee presidential Palace in Paris. AFP PHOTO / POOL / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Francois Hollande is awarded "Grand Mait

    Francois Hollande is awarded 'Grand Maitre' in the Order of the Legion of Honor, from chancellor of France's National Order of the Legion of Honor, General Jean-Louis Georgelin, as he is officially named as France's president on May 15, 2012 at the Elysee presidential Palace in Paris. AFP PHOTO / POOL / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/GettyImages)

  • France's President Francois Hollande (2n

    France's President Francois Hollande (2ndL) looks at outgoing president Nicolas Sarkozy (C) and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy leaving the presidential Elysee Palace after the investiture ceremony on May 15, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / MEHDI FEDOUACH (Photo credit should read MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Former French First Lady Carla Bruni (2n

    Former French First Lady Carla Bruni (2ndR) shakes hands with France's President-elect Francois Hollande (R) next to France's outgoing president Nicolas Sarkozy (2ndL) and Valerie Trierweiler (L), companion of Hollande after the formal investiture ceremony between France's president Francois Hollande and his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, at the Elysee presidential Palace, on May 15, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / MEHDI FEDOUACH (Photo credit should read MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Former France's president Nicolas Sarkoz

    Former France's president Nicolas Sarkozy (L) and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy leave the Elysee presidential Palace after the formal investiture ceremony between France's president Francois Hollande and his sucessor Nicolas Sarkozy, on May 15, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / POOL / PATRICK KOVARIK (Photo credit should read PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Former France's president Nicolas Sarkoz

    Former France's president Nicolas Sarkozy (L) and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy get on a car as they leave the Elysee presidential Palace after the formal investiture ceremony between France's president Francois Hollande and his sucessor Nicolas Sarkozy, on May 15, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / POOL / PATRICK KOVARIK (Photo credit should read PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/GettyImages)

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Filed by Ned Simons  |