Macron becomes France’s 25th president… and youngest ever

EPA/YOAN VALAT

Outgoing French President Francois Hollande waves to the crowd from a departing car as new French President Emmanuel Macron (R) looks on during a handover ceremony at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, 14 May 2017.

Macron becomes France’s 25th president… and youngest ever


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At 39, Emmanuel Macron became today France’s youngest leader since Napoleon, a week after his resounding victory in last week’s run-off poll.

Before the ceremony, Macron had a private meeting with Francois Hollande having the nuclear launch codes transferred to him.

France has some 300 nuclear warheads, according to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Macron takes charge of continental Europe’s leading military power and second-largest economy as both an outsider and an insider. The 39-year-old himself benefited from the electorate’s desire for fresh faces and solutions, as the first president in the modern era to be elected without the support of France’s two main traditional parties. But he was outgoing president Francois Hollande’s economic adviser for more than two years and is deeply familiar with inner workings of the administration.

Macron’s victory in France’s presidential election should help boost growth in the euro zone. Macron won on a platform of reforming France and a business-friendly vision of European integration.

An economic recovery and robust outlook in the euro zone mean the European Central Bank may be able to look at normalizing its ultra-loose monetary policy, German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said on Saturday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also said today she wanted close cooperation with French President-elect Emmanuel Macron and that their two countries would do everything to shape European policy.

“We will do everything not only to help France but also to shape the European path with France,” Merkel said in the city of Aachen near the border with Belgium.

Macron holds talks with Merkel in Berlin on Monday, a day after his inauguration, with the aim of stressing the importance of the relationship with Germany to relaunching the European project.

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