France's Hollande greets Macron in first meeting since victory

Vincent Carr
May 20, 2017

World leaders have reacted positively to Emmanuel Macron's victory over Marine Le Pen in Sunday's French presidential elections.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer also released a statement congratulating Macron on his win.

"France has sent an incredible message to itself, to Europe and the world", said Macron ally Francois Bayrou, tipped among his possible choices for prime minister.

The view was echoed by opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said he looked forward to working with Macron while also expressing relief at the results.

"This is a breath for France and Europe", tweeted Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after it was clear that Macron had routed far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

"Whoever is the toughest on radical Islamic terrorism, and whoever is the toughest at the borders, will do well in the election", he said, but claimed his comments were not an endorsement, and "no different" than the predictions of an average observer.

Mr. Macron will formally take over from Mr. Hollande on or before May 14.

Downing Street praised "the United Kingdom and France's unique partnership providing a strong foundation for future co-operation", ahead of Britain starting talks to end its membership of the European Union.

He also promised to work to unify France after a bruising presidential campaign and serve the country "with love".

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One Macron aide told Reuters that a serious discussion with Germany would also be needed on boosting investment spending, reforming its services sector, changing European Union fiscal rules and addressing its large current account surplus.

"If we construct an output gap for the USA using labour market variables, it still tells us that there's a fair amount of capacity pressure in the economy and that wage inflation should follow from that", he said.

"Knowing all of this the new French President may well find that winning was the easy bit", said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

But Le Pen's 34 percent - a high in any national election for her far-right National Front - confirms her party as a formidable force, its French-first nationalism increasingly accepted by a growing swath of electors despite its history of anti-Semitism and racism.

Valls' overture received a non-committal response from Macron's party.

"The Socialist Party is dead; it's in the past", Valls said on Tuesday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said "the victory of President-elect Macron is a symbolic victory against inward-looking and protectionist moves and shows a vote of confidence in the EU".

Macron told the Louvre crowd that the Le Pen vote was one of "anger, disarray". "You will win next time - and so will I!" Macron has said he wants continued intelligence-sharing with the United States and cooperation at the United Nations and hopes to persuade Trump not to pull the US out of a global accord fighting climate change.

Although Le Pen was comprehensively beaten on Sunday, she may well re-emerge as a political threat to Macron and is young enough to run in several more presidential elections.

Other reports by BadHub

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