Youthful Macron Moves Up to Highest French Office

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You would think that the day after Macron won the French presidential election, the world would be talking about his policies. Not so on Twitter, where the sizzling buzz is whether he or Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau is the hottest G7 leader! 

  • At 39, Macron the youngest French leader Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Crushed rival La Pen with resounding 66% victory
  • Threatened to be tough with Brexit, calling it a “crime”
  • Pledged to “defend Europe”

Yesterday, the world watched as the most unpredictable and important French presidential campaign in recent memory took place, with the result of the election set to have widespread repercussions for the future of Europe.

It ended with Emmanuel Macron, 39, crushing far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, 48, with a resounding 66% victory.

Having never been elected to public office, he was little known outside his country until recently. He set up his new movement En Marche! (On the Move) just a year ago.

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Macron takes over from President Hollande, the most unpopular French leader in the country’s modern history. Under Hollande, who decided not to stand for re-election last year, France has faced spiralling unemployment and other economic problems. During the presidential campaign, the Socialist president had called on voters to back centrist Macron, his former protégé.

Macron’s first big challenge when he takes office will be to build a majority in the National Assembly in parliamentary elections that take place in June.

He had previously said he will not give Britain an easy Brexit deal and even called the UK’s departure from the EU “a crime”. In his victory speech minutes after becoming France’s youngest leader since Napoleon Bonaparte, he vowed to “defend Europe”.

Macron was also a fierce critic of his opponent, describing La Pen as “the high priestess of fear”, and saying she needed to stop her “idiocies and lies”.

In turn, Le Pen said Macron, a former unelected finance minister in Hollande’s Socialist government and Rothschild banker, was a “darling of the system”, who wanted to turn the country “into a trading floor”.

Macron and the new First Lady, who is older by 25 years and has three grown-up children from a first marriage, will move into the Elysee Palace following an inauguration ceremony later this month. Read our yesterday’s report The Macron Love Story: Against All Odds for a glimpse into the Macron’s much talked about and unconventional relationship.