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    Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 presidential election, attends a meeting in Reims, France March 17, 2017

    Macron the President. But Who is Macron?

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    What had started off as an unpredictable race for the French presidency has ended with no surprise at all with 39-year-old ex-Economics Minister Emmanuel Macron becoming the country’s youngest head of state since Napoleon.

    The thirty-nine-year-old leader of the centrist En Marche! movement, Macron won in the second round with over 66 percent of votes, beating his far-right National Front rival Marine Le Pen, who ended up with almost 34 percent.

    Emmanuel Macron studied at the prestigious Institute of Political Studies, Science-Po in Paris, where he obtained a master's degree in public affairs before training for a senior civil service career at the national School of Administration (ENA), graduating in 2004.

    After studying philosophy at Paris Nanterre University, Macron went on to earn a master’s in public affairs. He spent his formative years as an investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Bank where he eventually rose to the position of a managing partner.

    Several years and 3 million euros later, he moved into politics and in 2012 became deputy secretary-general of the Elysee, a senior role in President Hollande’s staff. Two years later he was appointed Minister of Economy.

    In August 2015, Macron stated that he was no longer a member of the Socialist Party and was now an Independent.

    In spring 2016, Emmanuel Macron founded the En Marche! movement, and in November he announced his bid to run for president. In a matter of just one year Macron did the impossible topping the list of France’s most popular politicians.

    On the campaign trail

    In the first —round of the presidential election on April 23, Emmanuel Macron got 24 percent of the votes with his main rival, National Front leader Marine Le Pen coming in second with 21 percent.

    The 2017 presidential campaign was arguably the most bruising, divisive and unpredictable in decades with incumbent Francois Hollande refusing to run again and the traditional conservative Republicans and center-left Socialists sidelined by representatives of rightwing and leftwing parties.

    As a result, the ruling Socialists gave up on their fellow Socialist, ex-Education Minister Benoit Hamon, and threw their weight behind Macron.

    Ex-Premier Francois Fillon of the Republicans Party, the onetime favorite in the race, fell victim to a series of corruption-related scandals and failed to make it into the second round.

    Election Day

    Voting in France’s overseas territories started on Saturday but the majority of people in mainland France cast their ballots on Sunday.

    After the heated televised debate on Wednesday, ahead of the May 7 vote, few people in France and elsewhere in the world had any doubt that Macron was headed for victory.

    Unlike the first round vote on April 23, which was preceded by a terrorist attack and another one that, thankfully, was prevented, the runoff went fairly smoothly with sporadic protests in Paris flaring up after the initial results had been announced.

    Global reaction

    President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani was the first to congratulate Macron on his victory, stating that that he counted on France in the heart of Europe to change the entire European Union.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also quick to send in her congratulations. Her representative, Steffan Seibert, hailed Macron’s election win as “a victory for a strong and united Europe.”

    British Prime Minister Theresa May said that “we look forward to working with the new [French] President on a wide range of shared priorities."
    US President Donald Trump also added his congratulations.

    “Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!” Trump tweeted.

    In a congratulatory cable on Monday, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin confirmed his readiness for constructive work with the new French President on topical issues.

    "The President of Russia confirmed his readiness for constructive joint work on topical issues on bilateral, regional and global agenda, expressing confidence that it corresponded with the core interests of the people of Russia and France," the Kremlin's statement read.

    Emmanuel Macron has received congratulatory messages also from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras and other leaders.

    In the second-round vote on Sunday, Emmanuel Macron secured 66.1 percent of the vote against 33.9 percent garnered by his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

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    Tags:
    televised debates, track record, profile, congratulations, Nanterre University, En Marche, The Republicans, French National Front Party, French Socialist Party, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, Francois Hollande, Marine Le Pen, France
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