Quotes of the week May 6 - 1214 may 2012, 17:14
Some of the best quotes of the week from around the world:
"France chose change."
-- French Socialist Francois Hollande in his victory speech after winning the presidential election against incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.
"In this new era, I will remain one of you, but my place will no longer be the same."
-- Nicolas Sarkozy conceding victory to challenger Francois Hollande and hinting that he will retire from frontline politics.
France's outgoing president Nicolas Sarkozy (R) and president-elect Francois Hollande (L). ©AFP
GREECE NEEDS ITS GODS
"May the God of Greece help us."
-- Greek Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos calling for the formation of a national unity government following elecitons in which anti-bailout parties made big gains.
The leader of the Greek Socialist Party Evangelos Venizelos. ©AFP
NO MAGIC BULLET
"The European sovereign debt crisis will not be beaten overnight... there is no magic bullet."
-- German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a veiled warning to France's new president Francois Hollande who is advocating more growth and less austerity in Europe.
France's president-elect Francois Hollande (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R). ©AFP
"It isn't an Arab Spring which is sweeping the region but a plague, and there is confirmation of this every day... the colonisation of Iraq, the destruction of Libya, the partition of Sudan and the weakening of Egypt."
-- Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia speaking at an election rally ahead of legislative polls that could see Islamists make gains.
Algeria's Secretary-General of the National Democratic Rally Ahmed Ouyahia. ©AFP
NEW STAGE FOR RUSSIA
"Today, we are entering a new stage of national development. We will have to decide tasks of a new level, a new quality and scale. The coming years will be decisive for Russia's fate for decades to come."
-- Vladimir Putin in a brief speech after taking office as president for the third time following weeks of protests.
Russia's newly-inaugurated President Vladimir Putin. ©AFP
"The great Dostoevsky wrote that there is nothing more unbearable for a person than freedom. And of course he was right (...) Belarus does not need various revolutions and shocks that lead to chaos and bloodshed."
-- Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko, once branded the last dictator of Europe by the United States.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (C). ©AFP
"This was a graphic example of what the Syrian people are suffering on a daily basis and underlines the imperative for all forms of violence to stop."
-- UN observer mission chief Major General Robert Mood reacts to a roadside bombing that wounded 10 Syrian troops escorting his convoy as it travelled to a protest centre south of Damascus.
Norwegian Major General Robert Mood (C). ©AFP
"What we see across the region is a dance of death at the brink of the abyss of war."
-- UN Middle East envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, in remarks to the Security Council, about arms smuggling between Lebanon and Syria.
U-TURN TOO MANY?
"This is the most ridiculous zigzag in the history of Israeli politics."
-- The leader of Israel's opposition Labour party, Shelly Yachimovich, reacts angrily to centre-right Kadima party leader Shaul Mofaz's decision to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government just two months after he vowed he would never do so.
"I've just concluded, for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
-- US President Barack Obama announcing in an interview with ABC his support for gay marriage.
U.S. President Barack Obama. ©AFP
"Congratulations, Mr. President, for making history today by becoming the first sitting president to explicitly support marriage for same-sex couples."
-- Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, after President Barack Obama announced he was in favor of same-sex marriage.
"President Obama stuck a fork in himself today. He's done. He's toast."
-- Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, reacting to US President Barack Obama's stance on gay marriage and referring to the upcoming election in November.
"If the result of the French election is you don't need to reform entitlement, good luck to Europe, because the euro is going to fail if somebody doesn't step up to the plate and bring some economic balance."
-- Republican US lawmaker Lindsey Graham reacting to socialist Francois Hollande's presidential win in France.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. ©REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang
"I don't think those leaks should have happened. There was an operation in progress and I think the leak is regarded as very serious."
-- Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, telling reporters after US spy chief James Clapper ordered an inquiry into leaks to media outlets that exposed how the CIA foiled an Al-Qaeda plot.
U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Senator Dianne Feinstei. ©REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang
"Many of you are thinking, what's this old man, this damn old man, going to do next?"
-- Papua New Guinea's "Grand Chief" Michael Somare after announcing he will not contest elections in June, ending more than four decades at the centre of the developing nation's political life.
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Michael Somare. ©REUTERS/John Javellana
PRICE OF FREEDOM
"He'll be besieged by people wanting him to give lectures. He's going to have people after him to do TV broadcasts, write a book. He's going to have to have some set of priorities and some discipline."
-- Jerome Cohen, of New York University, on what awaits Chinese dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng in the United States.
OLD DOG, NEW TRICKS
"I think I can hang up my mortar board and academic robes after this one -- although I said that after my last degree and then I got bored."
-- Allan Stewart, a 97-year-old retired Australian dentist before collecting his masters degree in clinical science, making him the world's oldest new graduate.
97-year-old Allan Stewart. ©AFP PHOTO / SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITY LISMORE / SHARLENE KING
"We will stop her from setting foot on our land. She had better not dare spread her satanic faith in this country."
-- Salim Alatas, chairman of Indonesia's Islamic Defenders Front, vows to prevent flamboyant US pop diva Lady Gaga entering the country for a concert.
YOUR LAND IS OUR LAND
"We all know that the Philippines is China's inherent territory and the Philippines belongs to Chinese sovereignty, this is an indisputable fact."
-- He Jia, a national news anchor for state-run China Central Television, slips up when commenting on a maritime stand-off between the two countries over disputed islets in the South China Sea.
A TV grab from CCTV taken on May 7, 2012 shows He Jia. ©AFP PHOTO/CCTV