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French president-elect Emmanuel Macron hails 'new page of our history'

09 May 2017

Even as Emmanuel Macron is set to be the new president of France, defeating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, reports suggest that French citizens from Andhra Pradesh's Yanam town may have made a tiny contribution to his win.

In his victory speech, Macron vowed to "rebuild the relationship between Europe and the peoples that make it", and symbolically, Macron said German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be the first foreign leader he will meet as president. "I am sure that we will work together closely for Europe to change its course, re-inspire its people, not to live the far right nightmare ever again".

Macron's defeat of nationalist Marine Le Pen has relieved investors who had feared another populist upheaval after Britain's vote to exit the European Union and Donald Trump's election as USA president.

President Hollande hailed Mr Macron's win as a sign of support for France's place in the EU. "The proponents of realism, reason and cooperation are back".

The 39-year-old former investment banker, who served for two years as economy minister under Hollande but has never previously held elected office, will become France's youngest leader since Napoleon.

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And next year may see the return of another young pro-European centrist in Matteo Renzi, who was forced to resign as Italian prime minister in December, but now looks on course for a comeback after regaining the leadership of his Democratic Party (PD) in a primary vote last week.

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"Hurrah Macron President! There is hope for Europe!"

Macron won after one of the most unpredictable elections in modern history marked by scandal, repeated surprises and a last-minute hacking attack on his campaign.

While Le Pen had campaigned for France to withdraw from the eurozone, the Schengen borderless travel zone and, ultimately, from the European Union itself, Macron emphasised the benefits of European Union membership and committed to follow the bloc's common rules, including those related to budget deficits.

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During the campaign, Le Pen called for France's exit from the European Union. "The "yes" to Europe should be an instrument of change of progress", said Padoan. There's every chance that Macron will end up having to govern in a so-called cohabitation with representatives from parties beyond his nascent political movement, En Marche.

Hamon, who gained popularity in recent years by leading a group of rebel Socialist lawmakers who opposed Valls, was a distant fifth in the first round of the presidential election after garnering just over 6 percent of the votes, the Socialist Party's worst result since 1969.

Compliments started pouring in as soon as the election results were known, with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel among the first to congratulate the new president-elect. Shortly after polls closed, Le Pen spoke to supporters, pledging a "profound reform" of her party, the National Front, in an effort to create "a new political force".

The more radical leftist CGT union called for a demonstration on Monday against "liberal" economic policies.

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French president-elect Emmanuel Macron hails 'new page of our history'