Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday (May 8) congratulated France’s centrist politician Emmanuel Macron on his presidential election victory, saying their countries share a “responsibility toward peace and development in the world”. He, too, promised – although not in such earthy terms – to drain the swamp of French politics, to sweep out nepotism, replace career politicians with ordinary folk and slash by a third the number of lawmakers and senators.
United Kingdom shares opened little-changed as Emmanuel Macron’s expected victory in the French presidential election failed to excite markets.
“Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France”, he tweeted.
French independent centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron waves as he leaves the polling station after casting his ballot in the presidential election in Le Touquet, France, Sunday. “I’d like to say a word to those who voted for Ms. Le Pen”, Macron told his supporters Sunday. The agencies projected that Macron defeated far-right leader Marine Le Pen 65 percent to 35 percent on Sunday.
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Mr Macron earned over 20.8 million votes in the election, while Ms Le Pen gained a record 10.6 million votes for Front National.
The French presidential race – which has been closely watched around the world – became the latest referendum in the West on globalization and its benefits and societal costs.
Both complete unknowns when Macron was appointed economy minister in Socialist President Francois Hollande’s government in August 2014, Brigitte Macron, born Trogneux, resigned from her teaching job a year later to help her ambitious young husband.
Macron, a pro-European centrist and former banker, takes over a divided country where almost half of voters backed extremist candidates – critical of the European Union, globalisation and “elites” – in the first round of the election. And her father Jean-Marie said her campaign had been undermined by its proposals to quit the euro and the European Union, suggesting they might temper policies that spooked many French voters. The anti-EU, anti-immigration party will now focus on the mid-June parliamentary elections, although Le Pen recognised that the party needs far-reaching change.
Poland’s Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski then responded that “unjustified” accusations by Macron against Warsaw stemmed from France’s inability to compete with ever-stronger economies to the east.
In tweets posted after his win, Macron said, “You (the French people) have chosen audacity”. There had been fears a win for Le Pen could see France leave the euro and possibly the EU.
In this election the sense of shock and anti-Le Pen front proved far weaker. yesterday night she took to a stage in Paris and called on “all patriots” to join her in opposition to the new president.
But amid the general satisfaction, German commentators on Monday pointed immediately to the problems facing the newly-elected president, including his lack of organised party support and of political experience.
On the financial front, European stock markets edged down in early trading as investors had been widely expecting Macron’s victory. Other indexes across Europe also dipped, while the euro, which briefly hit a six-month high above $1.10 overnight, was down 0.7 percent at $1.0924.