Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

World leaders react to Emmanuel Macron's French election victory

World leaders react to Emmanuel Macron's French election victory

European stocks and the euro pulled back on Monday from highs touched after Emmanuel Macron's emphatic but well-flagged victory in France's presidential election as investors' focus shifted from politics to monetary policy.

President Donald Trump of the USA also said: "Ì look forward to working closely with President-elect Macron in the years ahead as we work together on a progressive agenda to promote global security, increase collaboration in science and technology, and create good, middle class jobs on both sides of the Atlantic".

Le Pen, his opponent in the runoff, quickly called the 39-year-old Macron to concede after voters rejected her "French-first" nationalism by a large margin.

Together with the abstention rate, that means that one in three voters declined to choose between the two candidates.

It will be a short honeymoon for French President-elect Emmanuel Macron. Le Pen saw Germany much more as a competitor and a meddler in French affairs, another reason why her presidency would have spelled doom for the EU.

Macron told the Louvre crowd that the Le Pen vote was one of "anger, disarray".

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen lost her bid to become France's first female head of state but she is unbowed, making plans for a major makeover of her party and her next electoral battle: June's parliamentary elections.

But Macron's mandate may be more muted than the numbers suggest.

A record 11.5 percent of votes cast were either blank or spoiled, while a near-record total of 25.4 percent of registered voters abstained altogether, official figures showed.

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

Ms Le Pen said she would call for a new political force to challenge the legislative elections.

President Xi Jinping congratulated Macron, saying their countries share a "responsibility toward peace and development in the world". His team was also the victim of a hack, which a cybersecurity firm has said bears the hallmarks of Russian involvement.

"We need new tools", campaign director David Rachline said Monday on France Info radio.

After Macron's victory, Trump tweeted congratulations shortly after 3pm Washington time on "his big win today as the next President of France".

Le Pen's performance punctured her hopes that the populist wave which 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.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, told Macron: "I am delighted that the ideas you defended of a strong and progressive Europe, which protects all its citizens, will be those that you will carry into your presidency".

"The French people have chosen hope over fear, chosen to look forward rather than backward".

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

Hollande also called Macron to "warmly" congratulate him on his victory.

"They have struck a blow for inclusive, tolerant democracy against the tide of extremism and xenophobia."Senator Ben Cardin, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, applauded the French people's rejection of isolationism and embrace of a Europe - "whole, free, and at peace".

Le Pen credited herself with upsetting the French political landscape, creating a divide "between patriots and globalists".

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