France's President-elect Emmanuel Macron pledges ‘no more reason to vote for extremes'
Macron vows to heal France's divisions after victory over Le Pen
Petroleumworld 05 08 2017
Emmanuel Macron pledged to unite France's rifts after his victory over Marine Le Pen in the presidential election, saying that he'll work to address the concerns that were exposed during one of the most divisive campaigns of recent history.
The president-elect made his comments in a speech to supporters at campaign headquarters in Paris less than an hour after Le Pen conceded the election. Macron received 66 percent of expressed votes, the French Interior Ministry said , based on 99.99 percent of the vote counted. The far-right Le Pen had 34 percent.
“I know that there is anger, worry and doubts that many of you have expressed,” said Macron, 39, pledging to “fight with all my energy against the deepening divisions” in French society. Addressing a rally outside the Louvre museum later, he added: “I will do everything in the next five years so that they have no more reason to vote for extremes.”
Macron's commanding victory over the National Front candidate on a platform of free-market policies strengthens the European Union and deals a blow to the populist wave that has roiled western democracies for the past year. An independent centrist who has never before run for office, he is set to become the youngest-ever elected French head of state.
“Macron is a new face and that's exactly what France and Europe need: a fresh start,” said Andre Sapir, a senior scholar at the Bruegel think tank in Brussels. “Macron gives Europe huge hope.”
The euro reversed early gains and was down 0.3 percent at $1.0965 on Monday morning, as investors weighed the task ahead . Asian stocks gained ground, with the benchmarks MSCI Asia Pacific up 1.1 percent and the Nikkei 225 up 2.3 percent.
A pro-European globalist, Macron's challenge will be to end years of high unemployment and sluggish growth, deal with the terrorist threat that has traumatized the country and, ultimately, restore faith in the political establishment.
Leaders were quick to hail Macron's achievement, with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May among the first to offer her congratulations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised his pro-European campaign in a brief call. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to congratulate Macron on his “big win.”
Story by Helene Fouquet , John Follain , Gregory Viscusi , and Mark Deen
bloomberg.com 05 07 2017
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