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France has a new president, but who is he?

Anna E. Domahidi, New Editor

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On Sunday, May 7, France held a run-off presidential election between Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche! Party and Marine Le Pen of the National Front. In a political landslide of 66% to 34%, Macron brought his party, which he created just the year prior, to victory. According to Angela Dewan and Saskya Vandoorne for CNN, this makes Emmanuel Macron “the youngest president in France’s history, and the youngest leader since Napolean.”

Up until his victory, Emmanuel Macron had never held an elected office. After graduating from the prestigious National School of Administration, he started work at the economy ministry as a financial inspector. Afterwards, he joined the Rothschild and Cie bank as an investment banker, where he worked until he started the social liberal party, En Marche! and ran for president.

He ran a campaign based on fiscal reform, highly influenced by his own background in economics and business. In addition, he stood out from the other candidates with a strong pro-European Union stance. Any talks of “Frexit” can now be put to rest because it’s highly unlikely Macron will allow it to ever occur, thus saving the EU from its demise.

Macron prides himself on having a platform that is progressive. In the days leading up to him being sworn into office, he announced his list of candidates for Parliament with half of them being women. This is highly reminiscent of Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada’s, actions a few years back when he made sure his cabinet was comprised of half women and half men. On his reason for this, Macron said, “women currently represent 53 percent of the electoral body, so it’s unacceptable that they make up less than 30 percent of those elected to the National Assembly.”

There is a lot of hope for Macron to do well as president, but the reality is that he’s never held an elected office before and this is the first time he’s doing something like this. He has a very steep learning curve and it’ll take some time for him to really get settled in the job. In addition, France doesn’t seem to have much faith in him- to many, he was the lesser of two evils. According to James Traub of Foreign Policy magazine, “one-fifth of the country [view] him as a puppet of global finance, and another fifth, or more, as a passionate Europeanist who won’t defend France against Germany, immigrants or refugees (and as a puppet of global finance).” It will be interesting to see what he accomplishes in his time as president as he is really getting quite the load with Brexit, terrorism, economic reform, and immigration being at the top of the country’s problems.
Congratulations to President Macron and we wish him the best of luck!

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The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.
France has a new president, but who is he?