Greek leaders hail Macron victory, hope for fruitful ties

Nick Mcbride
May 20, 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said it was a "victory for a strong and united Europe", while EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said French voters had chosen a "European future".

The euro hit a six-month high against the dollar on Monday while Asian shares gained and USA stock futures briefly touched a record high, on investor relief after centrist Emmanuel Macron comfortably won the French presidential election. He'll be replaced by Catherine Barbaron.

The En Marche! party will now be called Republique en Marche, or Republic on the Move, party Secretary General Richard Ferrand said at a press conference in Paris on Monday.

Calling Mr Macron a "much safer choice" than far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, Ms Rosemin Gardes, 53, said that the people of France have "made the right decision" in opting for a pro-globalisation candidate in light of France's dire economic situation.

Macron founded En Marche! less than a year ago. Here is a selection of comments from world leaders and other political heavyweights on Macron's election victory.

Whatever Le Pen's defeat means for populism's long-term future, Macron's victory can not disguise the fact that France remains a deeply-riven society on a number of issues and those divisions are not going to go away anytime soon.

And 11.5 per cent of votes cast, however, were either blank or spoiled, a record number, while a total of 25.8 per cent of registered voters abstained, official figures showed.

Marine Le Pen, the face of France's populist movement, was roundly defeated by Macron, but one-third of the country supported her populist nationalism and anti-EU posturing. "In these circumstances, it is especially important to overcome mutual distrust and unite efforts to ensure global stability and security", he said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wanted to work together with Macron on a "progressive agenda" to "promote worldwide security, increase collaboration in science and technology, and create good, middle-class jobs on both sides of the Atlantic".

Macron had campaigned on a pro-EU platform, in stark contrast to Le Pen, who vowed to pull France out of the union in a referendum, as Britain voted to do past year.

New members are flocking to French president-elect Emmanuel Macron's party as it prepares for the elections to the National Assembly in June - starting with a change in its name. Speaking to thousands of supporters from the Louvre Museum's courtyard, Macron said that France is facing an "immense task" to rebuild European unity, fix the economy and ensure security against extremist threats. "I can tell you that right now we are discovering a lot of new friends".

Other reports by VgToday

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