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France's President-elect Emmanuel Macron pledges 'no more reason to vote for extremes'
20 May 2017, 08:07 | Terri Saunders
While Macron's win had been widely anticipated, the election cast a long shadow over the continent as Le Pen, had wanted France to exit the 28-nation European Union, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the region and its euro currency.
Moreover, despite Macron's determinedly can-do attitude, the enthusiasm for the former investment banker has its limits.
"Now yesterday a new French president was elected".
The president-elect made his comments in a speech to supporters at campaign headquarters in Paris less than an hour after Le Pen conceded the election.
Over the past couple of weeks, European stocks, particularly French ones, had been buoyant on expectations of a Macron victory over the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.
"The task that awaits us, my fellow citizens, is vast and it starts tomorrow", Macron said as thousands of supporters cheered and waved French flags.
"He has been reporting on the French election from the start and has had direct access to Macron and many on his team, making him perfectly positioned to get to the bottom of who Macron is, and what he might plausibly achieve as president of France".
Benjamin Boss, a 26-year-old bank worker, on Monday contrasted Macron's win with Britain's vote last year to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as USA president.
Overall, forecasts suggest Mr Macron secured around 65 per cent of votes to Ms Le Pen's 35 per cent.
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The Twitter messages were a departure from the more measured tone of a formal statement issued Wednesday night by the White House. Others are already considering leaving, and allies due to join the administration say they are holding off.
"I want to live in a democracy", he said.
Macron will need a strong En Marche! presence in Parliament to push his legislative agenda through as the country battles high unemployment, a stagnant economy and relentless security woes. Until recently he was deputy editor-in-chief at Agence France Presse.
Macron has nearly nothing in common with Trump except one key fact: Like the NY real estate tycoon, Macron became president of his country on his first run for elective office.
The centrist was previously a member of the Socialist Party and served as an economic adviser and cabinet member under the current French president, Francois Hollande.
IT worker Saskia Jenesen said the sight at the Louvre of "all the young people who were really motivated by politics" had given her hope - but that Sunday's poll had seemed like a choice between "the lesser of two evils".
Le Pen says she will lead the opposition to Macron. "I look very much forward to working with him".
Many voters who had supported other candidates in the election's first round reluctantly cast runoff ballots for Macron only to prevent Le Pen from entering the Elysee Palace. The far-right Le Pen had 34 percent. By contrast, she was backed by just 20 per cent of over 65s.
Before the first round of the election last month, he said a deadly attack against a police officer in Paris would have a "big effect" on the vote and he praised Le Pen on immigration, calling her "the strongest on what's been going on in France".
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