French President-elect Emmanuel Macron begins official duties at WWII ceremony

Ex-French PM Manuel Valls voices desire to join Macron's political movement

Ex-French PM Manuel Valls voices desire to join Macron's political movement

The founder of Italy's main populist party has expressed cautious hope that new French President-elect Emmanuel Macron will safeguard the French people. France's CAC 40 index, which last week touched the highest level since early 2008, slipped 0.8 percent to 5,391 on Monday.

That was when Macron resigned as Hollande's economy minister to embark on his risky presidential run as an independent - a decision received coldly by the French leader at the time.

He campaigned on pro-business and pro-European policies, a risky move when a populist wave recently swept Donald Trump into the White House and led Britain to vote to leave the European Union would also carry her to France's presidential Elysee Palace.

Macron won 66.1 per cent of all votes on Sunday, while far-right opponent Marine Le Pen attracted 33.9 per cent of the votes.

But Putin sent his congratulations to Macron in a telegram and called for a renewal of trust between the countries.

Michael Roth, Germany's deputy foreign minister, says the result was marred by far-right candidate Marine Le Pen getting 11 million votes.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who Le Pen derisively said last week would be France's de facto leader under a Macron presidency, welcomed his win but appeared cautious about proposals to support his economic plans either by relaxing European spending rules or with a dedicated stimulus fund.

S Korea, Japan seek to lower tensions over 'comfort women'
A senior North Korean diplomat has said Pyongyang is also open to having talks with Washington under the right conditions. Trump and Moon have both also warned that a major conflict with the North is possible.

In addition, the interior ministry reported a record number of blank and invalid ballots, accounting for nine per cent of all registered voters, compared to two percent in the first round.

Some anarchist and far-left groups also held occasionally violent protests against both candidates, seeing Macron as too business-friendly and Le Pen as tainted by her party's racist past.

The National Front, meanwhile, is also gearing up for a name change - if not a makeover of its ideas - after Le Pen's decisive loss.

Macron won an estimated 65 percent of the vote.

Although many across Europe were relieved that the anti-immigrant euroskeptic National Front (FN) leader Le Pen was defeated, many in France felt deflated after they felt they had chosen "the lesser of two evils", as one French voter put it to DW.

He faces a huge task to unite a fractured, anxious country and to win a parliamentary majority in June's general election, without which he could struggle to implement his ambitious reform agenda.

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