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World Leaders React To Emmanuel Macron's Victory

19 May 2017

After a landslide victory that handed him the reins to the world's sixth-largest economy, French President-elect Emmanuel Macron is now looking to use his popularity to win seats for his party En Marche! in legislative elections, in little over a month from now.

The 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".

Le Pen's loss to centrist Emmanuel Macron still gave her a historic number of votes, reflecting the changing image of her once-pariah National Front party from fringe force to a political heavyweight.

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

Several candidates knocked out in the first round of votes publicly endorsed Macron, as did French President François Hollande.

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Helen Lhuillier, a 73-year-old French Canadian who has lived in France for 40 years and attended his supporters' victory rally outside the Louvre museum, said she liked Macron's "policies and his personality, his enthusiasm".

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.

"We have seen a major decomposition of French political life, of the old political mainstream parties and what we see now is a real new configuration which is emerging between the patriots and the new liberals", Le Pen told supporters.

"Every support to the president is welcome", said Jean-Paul Delevoye, the president of the commission in charge of assessing candidates.

Macron said he understood that some voters backed him reluctantly, simply to keep out Le Pen and her National Front party, which has a long history of anti-Semitism and racism. Macron has said he wants continued intelligence-sharing with the United States and cooperation at the United Nations and hopes to persuade Trump not to pull the USA out of a global accord fighting climate change.

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She made it clear, however, that she now saw herself as the leader of the opposition. 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.

Macron, 39, will be the nation's youngest president.

The "France first", anti-Europe message of Macron's rival Le Pen, 48, struck a chord with great swathes of the country.

In his victory speech, Macron vowed to "rebuild the relationship between Europe and the peoples that make it", and symbolically, Macron said German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be the first foreign leader he will meet as president.

Macron has nearly nothing in common with Trump except one key fact: Like the NY real estate tycoon, Macron became president of his country on his first run for elective office. Le Pen's proposals included holding a referendum on European Union and euro membership - and experts agree the euro wouldn't have survived the departure of its founding member and second-biggest economy.

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"A sense of normalcy has returned to the forex desks this morning as the final round of the French elections had the expected", said Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA.