With Merkel and PM, France's new president wastes no time

Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron is set to be inaugurated as France's youngest ever president, facing daunting challenges to rejuvenate the economy and breathe new life into the beleaguered EU.

Macron beat the National Front's Marine Le Pen in a May 7 run-off vote but the long campaign exposed deep divisions over France's role in Europe, immigration, and policies to revive a sluggish economy bedevilled by high unemployment.

Macron also inherits a country still in a state of emergency following a string of Islamist-inspired attacks since 2015 that have killed more than 230 people and plagued Hollande's presidency. HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables.

The new president arrived on the Champs-Elysees Avenue under a heavy rain - recalling Hollande's inauguration five years ago.

Macron, 39, is the youngest president in France's history.

He said he would convince the people that "the power of France is not declining - that we are on the brink of a great renaissance".

Macron campaigned and won the election promising a more progressive France, strengthened economic relations with the USA and other super powers and an extremely pro-European stance #NoToFrexit.

A relatively unknown politician, Mr Philippe previously worked as a director of public affairs for French nuclear group Areva from 2007-2010.

Although his victory over Le Pen was comfortable, nearly half of France's 47 million voters chose candidates with views opposed to Macron's in the first round of the election. His rivals on the far-right and far-left, opposed to the European Union and major economic reforms, won around 50 percent of the first-round vote.

Newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Trogneux pose on the steps of the Elysee Palace.

"Chateaubriand wrote a formula that fully makes sense: 'To be a man of his country, one must be a man of his times, ' " Fabius said.

Security was tight around Paris yesterday, with around 1,500 police officers deployed near the presidential palace and on the Champs-Elysees, and surrounding roads blocked off.

After Macron was formally declared president at the Elysee Palace, 21 cannon shots were fired from across the Seine River at the Invalides monument, where Napoleon is entombed. On Sunday afternoon, Macron, as the commander in chief, visited wounded soldiers at a military hospital outside Paris. He also headed to the capital's town hall for the traditional visit made by each new president to his "host city". He left office after serving a single term.

Many commentators are already holding high hopes about Brigitte Macron's ability as a First Lady, with many pundits tipping she will be an influential figure in France.

Among names being bandied around for the top job in Mr Macron's first government, speculation is mostly centring on Edouard Philippe. His first trip overseas will take him to Berlin today to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Pro-EU Macron wants to push for closer cooperation to help the bloc overcome the imminent departure of Britain, another of its most powerful members. He also intends to press for the creation of a parliament and budget for the eurozone. He hopes to become the voice of the future in Europe - although Mrs Merkel may have other ideas.

"Will this new prime minister support the candidates of En Marche of the President. or will he support the candidates of The Republicans-UDI, the candidates of his own political family?"

His party is scrambling to get 577 candidates together to contest every seat in the country ahead of the legislative elections on June 11 and 18.

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