Europe breathes sigh of relief after Macron victory in France

Macron win boosts hopes of turn in populist tide

Macron win boosts hopes of turn in populist tide

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron will start getting his house in order Monday after a landslide victory that handed him the reins to the world's sixth-largest economy. "We look forward to working with the new president and continuing our close cooperation with the French government", Spicer said according to the statement.

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.

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.

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

Macron is the first president of modern France elected as an independent.

"France has sent an incredible message to itself, to Europe and the world", said Macron ally Francois Bayrou, tipped among his possible choices for prime minister.

Addressing crowds outside the Pyramide du Louvre, Macron said: "We will not give in to fear, to division, to lies, to a love of decline or defeat" revealing he will do all he can for Le Pen voters to ensure they have no further reason to vote for extremism.

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.

"In these conditions it is especially important to overcome mutual mistrust and unite efforts to ensure global stability and security", Putin told Macron.

In addition to determination and talent, Macron's associates say luck also was very much on his side.

"I am delighted that a leader with a positive ambition for Europe has won this election", said Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

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"I want to live in a democracy", he said. (On the Move) party less than a year ago but managed to attract hundreds of thousands of supporters.

"Will the Macron-Le Pen divide - which is a national, existential identity divide, not the usual left-right split - continue into the legislative election?"

The 39-year-old stepped down as leader of En Marche!

Macron knows that many voters backed him not out of conviction but simply to stop Le Pen taking power, and his support could evaporate at the parliamentary elections.

But even before the results were in, France had made clear it was looking for change.

"Hurrah Macron President! There is hope for Europe!".

Another senior National Front senior official had said that if Macron wins, "France will have a submissive, by default president, not one that was really chosen". His victory brought a sigh of relief to the European Union, which Macron strongly supports; Le Pen had vowed to lead France out of the bloc.

However, his challenge remains in energising an increasingly apathetic electorate, for whom his centrist platform offers little else except an alternative to 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.

Macron has said he was aiming for an absolute majority in the lower chamber in June's elections.

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