Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump lauds Macron's 'big win' in France's election

Trump lauds Macron's 'big win' in France's election

His far right opponent, Marine Le Pen, had threatened to scrap the euro and reintroduce France's old money - the franc.

Mr Macron becomes not only France's youngest-ever president but also one of its most unlikely.

Just six months ago there was talk of the euro hitting parity with the dollar.

"Political risk in Europe has been considered as a major market theme this year". In March, the Dutch Party for Freedom led by Geert Wilders - an ally of Le Pen who pledged to "de-Islamise" the Netherlands - finished second in that country's general election.

Macron's victory also smashed the dominance of France´s mainstream parties.

Germany's foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel laced his welcome for Mr Macron with a warning to the French, saying: "If he fails, in five years Mrs Le Pen will be president and the European project will go to the dogs".

"Macron President!" they chanted.

"I know the divisions in our nation that led some to extreme votes".

Macron doesn't run his campaign alone: His wife is never far away. "Once more France is breaking the rules and staging a revolution". "It's my responsibility to hear them", he said.

"I'm a student, I have to work to pay for my studies and Macron's programme is the best for young people like me who want aim higher".

Late that evening, Macron strode across the huge courtyard of the Louvre as the music of Beethoven's Ode to Joy - the European Union anthem - blared from loudspeakers.

Last year, Macron launched his own political movement, En Marche, meaning "in motion", and quit the Socialist government.

Analysts said they expected French and European stocks to make gains on Monday.

A spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the result a "victory for a strong and united Europe".

Emmanuel Macron, a centrist former economy minister who emerged from a crowded field of seasoned politicians, has won the French presidential election, a race widely viewed as a referendum on the swell of nationalism imbuing the continent.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also congratulated Macron.

"I am calling on all patriots to join us and take part in this decisive political combat which has begun tonight". After her defiant concession speech, Le Pen's supporters put on a happy face, pointing to her 36 per cent support as a win for a party long seen as a pariah.

At Le Pen's much more modest venue - the Chalet du Lac restaurant on the capital's eastern outskirts, which hosts tea dances three afternoons a week - disappointed supporters defiantly shouted "Marine, the voice of France!" shortly after the first news broke on TV screens there.

Despite having served briefly in Hollande's deeply unpopular Socialist government, Macron managed to portray himself as the man to revive France's fortunes by recasting a political landscape moulded by the left-right divisions of the past century.

"It feels just great to have a 39-year-old president, someone who thinks like us, who believes in openness and in Europe", said Fadila Benyahia, a 45-year-old Parisian. "I've voted for the left in the past and been disappointed".

Here are some reactions from world leaders following Macron's election.

"I am delighted that the French people have decisively rejected Le Pen's politics of hate", Corbyn said, before adding he looked forward to working with Macron.

Macron will become the eighth president of France's Fifth Republic when he moves into the Elysee Palace after his inauguration next weekend.

He will be the youngest leader in the current Group of Seven major nations and has elicited comparisons with youthful leaders past and present, from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to British ex-premier Tony Blair and even the late US president John F. Kennedy.

Like Macron, Le Pen will now have to work to try to convert her presidential result into parliamentary seats, in a two-round system that has in the past encouraged voters to cast ballots tactically to keep her out.

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