Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Euroskeptics see win as bad news for Brexit

Euroskeptics see win as bad news for Brexit

At 39, the former investment banker will become France's youngest-ever president when he is inaugurated next weekend after crushing far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Sunday.

It was the first time the men had appeared in public together since Macron resigned in August 2016 as Hollande's economy minister to run for president - a decision received coldly by the French leader at the time.

World leaders from Donald Trump of the Angela Merkel of Germany congratulated him on his victory.

Fervently pro-European Macron is hoping to re-energise the Franco-German engine at the heart of the 28-member bloc, which is seen as critical now that Britain is set to leave.

Addressing his supporters in the grand courtyard of the Louvre, Macron said he would defend France and Europe.

Split 50-50 between men and women, they'll have Macron's example for inspiration: Contesting his first election, he handily beat Le Pen with 66 percent of Sunday's vote and tore up France's political map. Certainly this is a step in the right direction for a united, inclusive Europe.

Le Pen nevertheless won the support of 10.6 million people.

Marechal-Le Pen, 27, said in a letter published in a regional newspaper that she won't run for re-election in June to represent her southeast Vaucluse district.

On Monday, Macron appeared alongside Socialist President Francois Hollande at World War II commemorations, a cordial meeting of the once close friends who became estranged when Macron launched his presidential bid previous year.

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Macron has said he was aiming to secure an absolute majority in the lower chamber through the June 11 and 18 elections.

"Macron, Hollande's former economy minister, started his own independent movement "En Marche" (On The Move") in April a year ago but has no party structure behind him.

He faces a huge challenge to forge the working parliamentary majority he will need to push through his reforms.

He said he knew the divisions of the country, adding that he had the responsibility to hear all the French. He wants to ease rigid labour laws he believes fuel high unemployment, cut state spending, improve education in deprived areas and increase welfare protection to the self-employed. It will release its list of 577 candidates on Thursday. There's every chance that Macron will end up having to govern in a so-called "cohabitation" with representatives from parties beyond his nascent political movement, En Marche, which is being renamed as La Republique En Marche (Republic on the Move).

Macron's movement announced Monday that it was rebranding itself with a new name, "Republic on the Move". He has previously said he would like to appoint a woman.

Her withdrawal is a major blow for the National Front.

Other differences between the two include their relationship with the party founder and funder of this year's presidential campaign, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

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.

"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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