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    Electoral documents for the upcoming second round of 2017 French presidential election are displayed as registered voters will receive an envelope containing the declarations of faith of each candidate, Emmanuel Macron (R) and Marine Le Pen (L), along with the two ballot papers for the May 7 second round of the French presidential election, in Nice, France, May 3, 2017

    Macron Win Leaves 'Bitter Taste' Amid Calls for 'Reorientation' of EU

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    Macron Wins French Presidential Election (53)
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    The win for Emmanuel Macron in the French election has left a "bitter taste in our mouths," according to socialists in the EU Parliament, who say there now needs to be a "reorientation of Europe" as countries demand more sovereignty from Brussels.

    Although Macron won by a large margin, beating Marine Le Pen by 66.1 percent to 33.9 percent, his election was not greeted without reservation within the European Union.

     Supporters of French president-elect Emmanuel Macron react at the Louvre Museum in Paris on May 7, 2017, after the second round of the French presidential election.
    © Sputnik / Irina Kalashnikova
    Supporters of French president-elect Emmanuel Macron react at the Louvre Museum in Paris on May 7, 2017, after the second round of the French presidential election.

    The leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament said the fact that Le Pen made it to the second round was a warning that the EU needed to embrace change.

    "In the face of the dark and regressive campaign of the Front National candidate, the victory of Emmanuel Macron is a relief for France, and also for Europe. The worst case scenario has been avoided. However, this victory has a left bitter taste in our mouths. An extreme right candidate, who aimed at making the destruction of the EU her business, has gathered more than a third of the votes. All European democrats must wake up," said the leader of the European Socialists and Democrats, Gianni Pittella.

    ​"The election has revealed important social and cultural divides between the advocates of an open and inclusive society and those who feel left behind by globalization. This fissure is not new, and it is not unique to France. It affects other European countries such as Austria, the Netherlands and even the United Kingdom; territories where right-wing forces continue to prosper. Europe can no longer afford to stand idly by and wait for the storm to pass. We, the leaders of the European left, have a duty to learn the lessons from this moment.

    "We call on the new president to respond to millions of French people who have expressed doubts about Europe and his program. To ignore these concerns would be a grave mistake. For our part, the European Socialists and Democrats, we have embarked on the reorientation of Europe. We must abandon austerity and provide greater flexibility in the management of public finances, in order to allow the return of sustained growth."

    New Investment Plan

    "We advocate a new European investment plan to support the transition to a green economy and foster the ongoing digital revolution. We will continue our struggle for greater tax justice. We call for a pillar of social rights that protects our citizens from the negative effects of globalization and allows them to make a decent living. These are the foundations of the reconstruction of the European democratic left," said Pittella.

    Meanwhile, the European United Left/Nordic Green Left Group (GUE/NGL) said the majority of French voters took a decisive stand against the Front National and their "racist ideology, against the despicable ideas of the wealthy Le Pen clan and against an extreme-right President for France."

    ​"Emmanuel Macron must take heed of the growing split in French society and in the European Union; a split that for years has been exploited by right-wing extremists and nationalist groups. He has to close the gap between rich and poor, city and countryside, natives and migrants. To continue neoliberalism is not at all the answer," said GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer

    "At the EU level, Macron must take a stand against neoliberalism, failed austerity policies and destructive social and economic imbalances. Without a social and democratic Union, the European project is bound to fail."

    The Greens group also warned that the Macron win was no panacea for the EU and that "Marine Le Pen managed to appeal to so many voters is of ".

    ​"While Macron's win is a victory for those that believe in the need for European political integration, that does not mean that democratic and pro-EU forces can rest easy. The new French government must bring new energy to the European project and take up the mantle of delivering a genuinely social Europe, where prosperity is shared by all," said Greens/European Free Alliance co-president Philippe Lamberts.

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    Macron Wins French Presidential Election (53)

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    French 2017 election, presidency, election, French Presidential Election 2017, En Marche, Front National, Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen, Europe, Brussels, France
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