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France's Macron takes power, vows to heal division, restore global status


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France's Macron takes power, vows to heal division, restore global status

By Michel Rose and Jean-Baptiste Vey

REUTERS

 

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French President Emmanuel Macron attends a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Michel Euler/Pool

 

PARIS (Reuters) - Emmanuel Macron took power as president of France on Sunday, vowing to restore the country's status in Europe and the world and heal divisions in society -- a nod to the bitter campaign the pro-EU centrist fought to defeat a far-right leader.

 

The 39-year-old former investment banker, unknown to the wider public three years ago and whose May 7 election marked a meteoric rise to power, was inaugurated leader of the world's fifth-largest economy in a solemn Elysee Palace ceremony.

 

In his first words after taking office, he pledged to restore France's standing on the world stage, strengthen national self-confidence and heal divisions that the bitterly-fought campaign had opened up.

 

Macron beat the National Front's Marine Le Pen in a May 7 run-off vote but the long campaign exposed deep divisions over France's role in Europe, immigration, and policies to revive a sluggish economy bedevilled by high unemployment.

 

"The division and fractures in our society must be overcome. I know that the French expect much from me. Nothing will make me stop defending the higher interests of France and from working to reconcile the French," Macron declared.

 

Although his victory over Le Pen was comfortable, almost half of France's 47 million voters chose candidates with views opposed to Macron's in the first round of the election.

 

Many say they feel dispossessed by globalisation as manufacturing jobs move abroad and as immigration and a fast-changing world blur their sense of a French identity.

 

A convinced European integrationist unlike Le Pen and other leadership candidates, Macron went on: "The world and Europe need more than ever France, and a strong France, which speaks out loudly for freedom and solidarity."

 

Seeking closer ties with EU anchor nation Germany, Macron will meet Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday. He will ram home the message that the European Union is resilient despite Britain's vote to leave and a spate of financial and migration crises that have boosted the far right.

 

Monday will also see Macron name his prime minister, whose job will be to pilot liberalising reforms aimed at reducing joblessness and reviving economic growth.

 

YOUNGEST FRENCH POST-WAR LEADER

 

Macron becomes the youngest post-war French leader and the first to be born after 1958, when President Charles de Gaulle put in place the country's Fifth Republic.

 

In a ceremony full of pomp, he was presented with what is effectively his chain of office -- a heavy golden necklace mounted on a red cushion that makes him Grand Master of the National Order of the Legion d'Honneur.

 

But Macron appeared determined to create an impression of personal modesty. Aides went out of their way to emphasise that the dark suit he wore cost about 450 euros or just under $500, and that the lavender outfit worn by his wife Brigitte had been loaned by fashion house Louis Vuitton.

 

He displayed youthful vigour during the televised proceedings, at one point racing up the Elysee stairs to meet a protocol requirement -- something not all previous French presidents might have managed.

 

He then chose to be driven by military jeep rather than civilian limousine to the Arc de Triomphe, where he stood in the rain, without coat or umbrella, to light the flame in tribute to France's war dead at the tomb of the unknown soldier -- a powerful reminder of France's role in the NATO defence alliance.

 

Further underscoring a commitment to France's military and peacekeeping role in the Middle East and Africa, he visited wounded service personnel in the military hospital. Aides have flagged a likely visit to French troops in Mali for next Friday.

 

Macron's rise, marked by a 21-gun salute at the Esplanade des Invalides, signalled at least a pause in the anti-globalisation trend that elevated businessman Donald Trump into the U.S. presidency and led British voters to choose Brexit.

 

He later shook hands with well-wishers on the Champs Elysees, not far from where a policeman was shot dead by a gunman in April.

 

More than 230 people have died in France in attacks claimed by Islamic State over the past two years as the country has taken part in military action against the militant group that controls parts of Syria and Iraq.

 

Fifteen hundred police were mobilised to ensure security for Macron's inauguration while a large section of Paris was closed to traffic all morning.

 

NUCLEAR CODES

 

Macron assumed power after an hour-long private meeting with outgoing President Francois Hollande, 62, in which official access to France's nuclear missile launch codes was handed over.

 

Macron, once Hollande's economy minister, then accompanied his former mentor down the red carpet to a waiting car.

 

He must now try to win a majority in June parliamentary elections for his start-up Republic on the Move (REM) party, which has blown apart traditional French political boundaries.

 

But Macron may struggle to get the country behind him.

 

In the first round of voting, more than 45 percent chose Le Pen or other candidates who promised different medicine, such as closing the wealth gap by rolling back globalisation, shutting borders and rejecting the EU.

 

The business-friendly labour reforms in Macron's programme follow on from policies that helped make Hollande the least popular French president in modern history and killed his chances of a second term by failing to ease unemployment.

 

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain, Marine Pennetier, Ingrid Melander, Elizabeth Pineau and John Irish; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Catherine Evans)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-05-15
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Give it a few months and France will realize that nothing has changed , they just voted for Hollande mark 2. it is just a shame he did not have a party fighting against him that wasnt so bad as LE Penns 

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What "World Status" ? Out side of being known as a socialist state with the "reds" running the trade unions ,who in turn run the country. France has not had any world status since Napoleon's defeat in 1815.Others lead ,France follows.

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6 hours ago, webfact said:

France's Macron takes power, vows to heal division, restore global status

Sorry I have heard all this "new leader" crap so many times in the past it makes me vomit. In the last 60 years I have listened to this verbal vomit and it turns me cold. Yes the selection was between bad and badder and that made things even worse. He will do a hatchet job on the hard hat boys and all other labor and give tax cuts to the rich. Don't expect any more or any less. Look around you its happening world wide unabashed and no shame. It will end badly in more riots and demonstrations but the powers that be are developing new buttons to push to keep you in line especially threats of large fines and therefore the loss of your job. There is a pigeon hole waiting for you. 

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What "World Status" ? Out side of being known as a socialist state with the "reds" running the trade unions ,who in turn run the country. France has not had any world status since Napoleon's defeat in 1815.Others lead ,France follows.



Germany says jump,France asks how high,?

Sent from my SM-A720F using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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15 minutes ago, bumpkin said:

Healing rifts -  - - usually means negotiating and making some concessions.  What concessions will he make towards the  one in three voters who didn't choose him ?

And I'm sure you expect the conservatives in the UK to make concessions towards the voters who didn't vote for them.

And the Brexiteers to make concession to the voters who voted against it.

Such nonsense.

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16 hours ago, i claudius said:

Give it a few months and France will realize that nothing has changed , they just voted for Hollande mark 2. it is just a shame he did not have a party fighting against him that wasnt so bad as LE Penns 

 

It took 1 year  to Emmanuel Macron to become French President - running for the first time-

It took 180 minutes of to  Emmanuel Macron to show how far right candidate Marine Le Pen - supported both by Trump and Putin- is unsuitable for the job - Macron won almost 50 percent more votes than Le Pen

Emmanuel Macron already changed things in people's mind, on day 1.

 

Edited by Opl
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16 hours ago, sanukjim said:

What "World Status" ? Out side of being known as a socialist state with the "reds" running the trade unions ,who in turn run the country. France has not had any world status since Napoleon's defeat in 1815.Others lead ,France follows.

"Others lead, France follows.." ?

" Chirac Says War in Iraq Spreads Terrorism"  http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/18/world/europe/chirac-says-war-in-iraq-spreads-terrorism.html

 

 

Blair ignored Chirac warning on Iraq 'disaster'

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2007/feb/25/iraq.france

( US lead .. UK follows? " "Well, Britain gave its support [for the Iraq war], but I did not see much in return," Mr Chirac told the Times. "I am not sure that it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favours systematically.")

 

Who "inherited THE mess", then ?

Chirac: Iraq war has made world more Dangerous https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/nov/17/france.iraq

 

French may be idiots - according to you - OK - while presumably smart  people precisely elect the most unsuitable candidate as actual POTUS , what could possibly be wrong ?

French did not follow the move.

Edited by Opl
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12 hours ago, ilostmypassword said:

And I'm sure you expect the conservatives in the UK to make concessions towards the voters who didn't vote for them.

And the Brexiteers to make concession to the voters who voted against it.

Such nonsense.

But,  Macron promised this on becoming President.   UK politicians never make such  promises.

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7 minutes ago, bumpkin said:

But,  Macron promised this on becoming President.   UK politicians never make such  promises.

Well, whether that assertion about UK politicians is true or not, it's standard boilerplate for American politicians to speak of reaching out to the people who opposed them.  Although I doubt that Macron said anything like "since 34 percent of the french people who voted voted for Le Pen, therefore I will give them 34 percent of what they asked for."

Edited by ilostmypassword
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Well Macron has just had his first slap down from his boss Angela in Germany ,she told him that there will be no reforms to the E.U ,did we expect anything else , Germany says jump and as usual the French just ask  how high ?

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