Monday, May 8, 2017

Macron elected French president

There was a palpable sigh of relief all over France last night, as Emmanuel Macron was finally elected President of France, with a convincing 66 per vent of cotes cast in the second round. Even though many remain sceptical of his plans to 'revive' France, in line with the policies outlined by his group En marche there us also a feeling that 'at least it's not her' - referring to the far right Marine le Pen who gave the country another first-round scare in a close vote, as she did with the election of Francois Hollande five years ago. Some commentators are now writing that her election would have been 'chaotic for France'.

Also worrying is the high level of voter abstentions, approaching 30% of the electorate, though many are questioning the wisdom of holding an election on a Sunday, in the middle of a three-day holiday weekend in May (today is a public holiday), where many have taken advantage of the fine weather (at last) and are away from home.

Also interesting at the time Britain is learning not only that Brexit is is going to be vastly more complicated and expensive than anyone dreamed, Macron's second emphasis is on reforming and strenghtening the European Union and it will be interesting to watch this happening alongside Brexit.

France will also have to come to terms with a whole collection of new faces in politics, as Macron's likely team of future ministers, many of them unkown to the wider public, take up their positions in government. France goes to the polls again in June to elect deputies to parliament, before settling down for the summer recess and the traditional European shutdown during July and August.

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