Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

PM Narendra Modi speaks to French President-Elect Emmanuel Macron

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron.

Macron won a decisive victory on Sunday night with more than 66% of the vote against the far-right Marine Le Pen's 33.9%. And the outcome of that election could dramatically affect how Macron governs the country.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said in a statement that while Macron's election is "extremely encouraging", his group is "concerned that a third of the French population voted for a unsafe political leader". Valls, making his offer to join Macron's movement on RTL radio on Tuesday, declared France's Socialist Party was dead. "I have seen 4 French presidents assume power in France, Macron being the fourth at the age of 39, while Bou Teflika is still on his chair, which has turned into a wheelchair ruling a country that claims to be a popular, democratic republic", wrote Malek, in reference to the Algerian president. Announcing the changes, the movement's secretary general, Richard Ferrand, said the organization will be "a new political force" on the landscape redrawn by Macron's victory.

Macron's camp has not embraced Valls, however.

The abstention rate for younger people was also much higher than that of older voters, revealing that fewer young people believed in either the threat of Le Pen or the globalist programme of Macron.

The rest will be from the centrist Modem party or rebels from the Socialists and right-wing Republicans.

Until now only a handful of Macron's candidates have been announced, including the former head of the elite police unit RAID who led the charge against jihadi hostage-takers at the Bataclan concert hall in the 2015 Paris attacks.

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.

The Republicans, Le Pen's National Front and Socialists all held meetings today to discuss strategy. Valls' overture received a non-committal response from Macron's party.

"The Prime Minister warmly congratulates President-elect Macron on his election success".

The former investment banker's victory over Le Pen has been hailed as the strongest sign that populism may be peaking in Europe after setbacks for nationalists in the Netherlands and Austria.

Macron's victory has therefore pushed back any fear that France was on a road that could have led to the breakup of the European Union and the euro itself.

Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici today urged him to tame France's budget deficit, which is forecast to rise above a eurozone limit of three percent of GDP in 2018.

President of the EU Council Donald Tusk and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also both welcomed the outcome.

"With markets having rallied throughout last week in expectation of a Macron win, there was little upside left for equities and the euro", said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

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