Unbowed Le Pen looks ahead to French parliamentary elections
Unbowed Le Pen looks ahead to French parliamentary elections
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20 May, 2017, 04:43
Also commenting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said: "Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France". He shed his breezier campaign demeanor for a solemn, more statesman-like look in his first appearances after his victory and again Monday, at a sober ceremony with Hollande to commemorate Germany's defeat in World War II.
French voters elected the centrist as the country's youngest president ever on Sunday, delivering a resounding victory to the unabashedly pro-European former investment banker.
Macron's resounding defeat of nationalist Marine Le Pen has relieved investors who had feared another populist upheaval after Britain's vote to exit the European Union and Donald Trump's election as US president a year ago.
The mother of three portrays herself as the guardian of a disabused France, where citizens are losing their culture to an encroaching Islam, their identity to "massive immigration" and their sovereignty to the European Union.
Valls's move could be a boost for Macron, who needs to secure a majority in the elections to have a realistic chance of implementing his ambitious reform plans.
"It is this great choice. that will be submitted to the French in legislative elections", she said in her concession speech.
He did emphasize explicitly that he was "aware of the anger, doubt and anxiety" felt by many people in France, and that they had expressed those feelings in their vote.
Macron has promised a France that would stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin but that also would seek to work with Putin on fighting the Islamic State group, whose extremists have claimed multiple attacks in France since 2015.
Mr. Macron will formally take over from Mr. Hollande on or before May 14.
Numerous votes cast were not for Macron, rather "it was a protest vote against Marine Le Pen", he says. Many voters backed him reluctantly, simply to keep out Le Pen's extremism.
Initial estimates showed Macron winning between 65.5 percent and 66.1 percent of ballots ahead of Le Pen on between 33.9 percent and 34.5 percent.
"The Socialist Party is dead and buried", Manuel Valls, a member of the party for almost 40 years said, told French radio station RTL. Other indexes across Europe were also trading lower, while the euro, which briefly hit a six-month high above $1.10 overnight, was down 0.4 percent at $1.0955.
Le Pen spent most of the evening on the attack, but provided few detailed solutions to France's myriad problems, which include a 23-percent youth unemployment rate and a spate of horrifying, terrorist attacks in recent two years.
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He also said the names of Macron's 577 candidates in the legislative elections would be announced this Thursday. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker put it bluntly: "With France, we have a particular problem".
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