French President-elect Emmanuel Macron prepares for challenges ahead

Posted May 12, 2017

Mr. Macron won the presidency with 66% of votes against his far-right rival Marine Le Pen's 34%, show the final numbers released by France's Interior Ministry.

The choice of the pro-EU Macron as president of the eurozone's second-largest economy has prompted relief across the European Union. "The growing threat of terrorism and violent extremism goes hand in hand with the escalation of local conflicts and the destabilization of entire regions", Putin's message reads. "In these conditions it is especially important to overcome mutual mistrust and unite efforts to ensure global stability and security".

Macron's proposed reforms during the presidential campaign were not as well-defined or bold as that of the Republicans' Francois Fillon, who became embroiled in a scandal over hiring family members for no-show government jobs. Le Pen, meanwhile, just has to call press conferences and continue barnstorming through France's northeastern rust belt, where sentiment toward Macron the Brussels-hugging ex-banker is already sour. "I look very much forward to working with him!" "And it's the challenge of these leaders, particularly Macron, to alleviate some of these problems in the next five years, otherwise we'll be in the same position next time".

However, French voters had opted for a "future in Europe rather than in resentful isolation" and delivered "a victory of hope and optimism over fear and reaction", said the newspaper, which has been sharply critical of Trump.

EU Council President Donald Tusk also offered his congratulations, saying the French had chosen "liberty, equality and fraternity" and "said no to the tyranny of fake news".

Some 33 percent of respondents in an Ipsos poll said they voted Macron because they were won over by the political renewal they saw in him.

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The last time France had "cohabitation" was under President Jacques Chirac in 1997-2002, who described the setup as a state of "paralysis".

She has spent the past six years as president of the National Front single-mindedly focused on one objective: Erasing the stain of her party's association with the ex-collaborationists, the right-wing extremists, immigrant-hating racists and anti-Semites who founded it 45 years ago. Macron battled it out against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

She also failed decisively in last week's debate with centrist Mr Emmanuel Macron, who leads new party En Marche, where analysts said she effectively "redemonised" herself and the party.

In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May said Macron's election makes it even more important for British voters to back her Conservatives and strengthen Britain's hand in European Union exit talks.

"The citizens of France entrusted you to lead the country in a hard period for Europe and for the entire world community". "She also didn't seem to have a plan for the economy", she added.