Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Emmanuel Macron wins French election


Stocks were little changed on Monday and the euro fell from a six-month high hit after pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron's victory in France's presidential election, as traders cashed in recent gains.

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron holds hands with his wife, Brigitte, during a victory celebration outside the Louvre museum in Paris, Sunday, May 7, 2017.

Other congratulatory messages from overseas included a tweet from Trump about Macron's "big win" and a warning from Germany's foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, that "If he fails, in five years Mrs. Le Pen will be president and the European project will go to the dogs".

Former investment banker Macron became economy minister in 2014, but resigned two years later to set up his own movement, En Marche!

The White House on Sunday also issued a formal statement congratulating "Macron and the people of France on their successful presidential election".

With virtually all votes counted, Macron had topped 66 percent against just under 34 percent for Le Pen - a gap wider than the 20 or so percentage points that pre-election surveys had suggested.

If another party wins a majority, Macron could be pressured to choose a prime minister from that party in a situation called "co-habitation".

Even the so-called "Republican Front" - a bipartisan movement that crushed the second-round chances of Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie, in the 2002 election - proved much weaker this time around. There is something I can't figure out that didn't work.

Ms. Merkel's spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, said the Chancellor is looking forward to working with the new president in the spirit of the traditionally close Franco-German friendship. In fact, many voters said Sunday they are not bothered by Le Pen's anti-Muslim language or xenophobic inclinations, but rather that they are simply exhausted of the system and believe she is the right person to save France from its ongoing decline.

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Macron ran as an independent, but he founded En Marche! less than a year ago.

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.

Prime Minister Theresa May also discussed Brexit with Macron, saying "the United Kingdom wants a strong partnership with a secure and prosperous European Union once we leave", the spokesman added.

She clinched one alliance ahead of the runoff with the leader of a small conservative party, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan.

Vincenzo Scarpetta, analyst at Open Europe, warned Macron may be biting off more than he can chew.

Macron's victory stands in contrast to the current global trend marked by the (anti-immigration, anti-Europe) British Brexit; the Donald Trump victory; and the challenges leaders in neighboring Holland, Germany and Italy have been facing since the beginning of the Syrian war with the continuous influx of immigrants.

Here are five things to know about French president-elect Emmanuel Macron.

Marine Le Penn says National Front is now the French opposition.

But this year, "there wasn't the "shock" effect, because (Marine Le Pen's) presence was expected", Jadot said.

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