World leaders have reacted positively to Emmanuel Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s French presidential elections.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “the decision of the French voters is also clearly a vote for Europe.”
Merkel’s Spokesperson Steffen Seibert, said the Chancellor is looking forward to working with the new president in the spirit of the traditionally close Franco-German friendship.
“I warmly congratulate @EmmanuelMacron on his success and look forward to working with him on a wide range of shared priorities,” Merkel said.
Also, British Prime Minister Theresa May in her tweets said: “Hurray President #Macron A hope is haunting Europe.”
Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, also said: “We congratulate Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the French presidential election.
“This is a victory for the French people and for European cooperation.”
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in his comment said: “I look forward to working with President-elect Macron to confront the common challenges and seize the common opportunities facing our two democracies.
“One of the greatest threats facing the world today is radical Islamic terror which has struck Paris, Jerusalem and so many other cities around the world.”
Also commenting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said: “Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France.
“I look very much forward to working with him!”
President Donald Trump of the U.S. 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 international security, increase collaboration in science and technology, and create good, middle class jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Also, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada said: “congratulations @EmmanuelMacron on your historic election win.
“We will build even stronger ties between our two great nations.”
Macron won with between 65 and 66 per cent of the vote, projections published by multiple French media showed.
Macron, 39, easily beat far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen after a bitter contest pitting his pro-EU liberal platform against her calls for France to close its borders and pull out of the euro single currency.
He will be the youngest ever president of France, and the first in over a century to be elected by popular vote without the backing of an established political party.
Macron supporters gathered for a rally in the courtyard of Paris’ Louvre museum cheered wildly as the results came through moments after polls closed at 8:00 pm (1800 GMT).
Le Pen quickly conceded victory and said she had called Macron to congratulate him.
“The French have chosen a new president of the republic, and have voted for continuity,” she told a rally of voters in eastern Paris.
She made it clear, however, that she now saw herself as the leader of the opposition.
“This second round has set up a great realignment of French politics around the cleavage between patriots and globalizers,” Le Pen, who has slammed Macron as a proponent of “savage globalization,” said.
President Francois Hollande, under whom Macron served as economy minister for two years, congratulated him more whole-heartedly.
“His broad victory confirms that a very large majority of our fellow-citizens wanted to rally around the values of the Republic and express their attachment to the European Union and to a France that is open to the world,” the outgoing head of state said.
Plaudits also came from Europe, where Le Pen’s mounting popularity over the past few months has been viewed with alarm.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also congratulated president-elect Macron in a letter he posted on Twitter.
“Happy that the French chose a European future,” he wrote.
Emmanuel Macron’s presidential win is a “victory for a strong, unified Europe and for the Franco-German friendship,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Twitter.
The last days of the campaign were marked by an insult-laden debate in which Le Pen proved shaky on facts, cementing Macron’s advantage.
The final hours of campaigning on Friday night saw a huge leak of emails and documents from the Macron campaign, which denounced a “massive and coordinated” hacking attack.
News agency AFP reported that prosecutors had launched an investigation.
Macron now faces the challenge of winning a parliamentary majority for his year-old En Marche! movement.
Turnout was expected to slightly down on previous polls, as many voters found the choice between Macron’s pro-business, socially liberal programme and Le Pen’s hardline anti-EU, anti-immigration stance unpalatable.
Macron will formally take over from Hollande on or before May 14. (NAN)