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Sunday, May 7, 2017

We Will See How Macron Does.Le Pen Will Still Be Around


Macron wins French presidency by

 emphatic margin: projections


By Sudip Kar-Gupta | PARIS
Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France on Sunday with a business-
friendly vision of European integration, defeating Marine Le Pen, a far-right
nationalist who threatened to take France out of the European Union, early
 projections showed.
The centrist's emphatic victory, which also smashed the dominance of France’s
mainstream parties, will bring huge relief to European allies who had feared
another populist upheaval to follow Britain's vote to quit the EU and Donald
 Trump's election as U.S. president.
Five projections, issued within minutes of polling stations closing at 8 p.m.
 (2 p.m. ET), showed Macron beating Le Pen by around 65 percent to 35 - a
 gap wider than the 20 or so percentage points that pre-election surveys had
pointed to.
Even so, it was a record performance for the National Front, a party whose
anti-immigrant policies until recently made it a pariah in French politics, and
 underlined the scale of the divisions that Macron must now try to heal.
Le Pen's high-spending, anti-globalization 'France-first' policies may have
 unnerved financial markets but they appealed to many poorer members of
society against a background of high unemployment, social tensions and
security concerns.
Macron's immediate challenge will be to secure a majority in next month's
parliamentary election for En Marche! (Onwards!), his political movement
that is barely a year old, in order to implement his program.
The 39-year-old former investment banker, who served
for two years as economy minister but has never previously
 held elected office, will become France's youngest leader
since Napoleon with a promise to transcend outdated
left-right divisions.
At least one opinion poll published in the run-up to the
 second round has indicated that the majority he needs
could be within reach.
Despite having served briefly as economy minister in
President Francois Hollande's deeply unpopular Socialist
government, Macron managed to portray himself as the
 man to recast a political landscape moulded by the left-
right divisions of the last century.
While Macron sees France's way forward in boosting the
competitiveness of an open economy, Le Pen wanted to shield French workers
by closing borders, quitting the EU's common currency the euro, radically
loosening the bloc and scrapping trade deals.

left
right
Supporters of Emmanuel Macron celebrate near the Louvre museum after results were announced in the
 second round vote of the 2017 French presidential elections, in Paris, France May 7, 2017. REUTERS/
Benoit Tessier
1/24
Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuze said France had chosen to retain
 its place at the heart of Europe.
Shortly after the first projections were published, Le Pen, 48, said she had
 congratulated Macron. But she defiantly claimed the mantle of France's
main opposition in calling on "all patriots to join us" in constituting a "new
political force".
Her deputy said this new force would not be called "National Front".
When he moves into the Elysee Palace after his
 inauguration next weekend, Macron will become
 the eighth - and youngest - president of France's Fifth
Republic.
He plans to blend a big reduction in public spending
 and a relaxation of labor laws with greater investment
 in training.
A European integrationist and pro-NATO, he is orthodox
 in foreign and defense policy and shows no sign of
wishing to change France's traditional alliances or re-shape
its military and peace-keeping roles in the Middle East
and Africa.
His election also represents a long-awaited generational
change in French politics that have been dominated by
 the same faces for years.
He will be the youngest leader in the current Group of Seven (G7) major nations
 and has elicited comparisons with youthful leaders past and present, from
 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to British ex-premier Tony Blair and
even President John F. Kennedy in the United States.
(Additional reporting by Ingrid Melander, Marina Depetris, Bate Felix and
 Sybille de la Hamaide; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Kevin Liffey)