France's Macron takes power, vows to overcome division

Jerome Frank
May 15, 2017

French republican guards arrive at the Elysee Palace prior to the handover ceremony for New French President Emmanuel Macron, in Paris, France, Sunday.

Macron officially became president after Laurent Fabius, who is chairman of the constitutional council, read out the results of the presidential election in the Sunday ceremony.

Macron formally took power after his predecessor, Socialist Francois Hollande, met with him for one hour and left. "For decades France has doubted herself".

On Sunday, Macron sought to inject fresh optimism into a French public so disillusioned with the political establishment that in the first round of the presidential elections almost half of its voters opted for candidates who wanted to blow up the nation's political order.

Outside the Elysee, a few dozen supporters waved French tricolour and European blue flags at the arrival of the new President.

His Republic on the Move movement hopes to reinvigorate French politics and win a majority of lawmakers in the June parliamentary election.

Mr Hollande described the "terrible ordeals" that marked his five-year term, from deadly attacks to Greece's debt crisis, and defended his unpopular presidency in a series of tweets minutes after leaving the Elysee Palace.

He vowed to see the European Union "reformed and relaunched" during his time in office.

In his first word in office, he addressed himself to the fraught and fiercely contested election campaign in which he overcame the National Front's Marine Le Pen but which was a disappointment for nearly half of France's 47 million voters.

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Mr Macron had been Mr Hollande's top economy adviser from 2012 to 2014, then became his economy minister until a year ago, when he chose to quit the Socialist government and launch his independent presidential bid.

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.

The whole world will pay attention to what France says because we will, together, go beyond our fears and anxieties. On Monday, he is expected to reveal the closely-guarded name of his prime minister, before flying to Berlin.

The appointments were announced ahead of Mr Macron's inauguration ceremony.

Among those who attended were his wife Brigitte and her daughter, Mr Macron's stepdaughter, Tiphaine Auziere.

Macron also said that, on his first official foreign visit as French president, he planned to travel to neighboring Germany.

REUTERS/Christian Hartmann Former French President Francois Hollande waves from his vehicle as President Emmanuel Macron (Rear) watches after the handover ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 14, 2017.

Macron himself wore a dark suit from French brand Jonas and Cie, a tailor based in Paris, that cost 450 euros ($491), according to his team.

Two candidates frequently mentioned in the French media are International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde - a onetime finance minister who has never held elected office - and the center-right mayor of the port city of Le Havre, Eduard Philippe.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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