widenews desk: Emmanuel Macron became the youngest leader of France since Napoleon on Sunday. A handsome, young man whom his fans credit with saving the Republic from Marine Le Pen, he is the French establishment’s most flattering self-image. That’s an opportunity and a danger.
France’s President-elect Emmanuel Macron easily saw off a challenge from right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s election. He takes office Sunday 7 May 2017. Here is some notable things to know about Macron.
Youngest premier yet: Macron, 39, becomes France’s youngest president on 7th May, shattering the record of Louis Napoleon, Napoléon Bonaparte’s nephew, who won the French presidency in 1848 at age 40. However, Macron is not France’s youngest-ever ruler. King Louis XIV was just 4 years old when he assumed the throne in 1643.
Never held elected office: Macron was economy minister for two years under outgoing Socialist President Francois Hollande until his resignation in 2016, when he stepped down to run for the presidency. Before Sunday, he had never been elected into office. His job as economy minister was an appointed role.
Political independent: Centrist Macron founded his En Marche! (On the Move) political group a little over a year ago. His idea for the party was for it to be “neither of the Left or the Right.” Because it is a brand new party, it currently has no seats in France’s National Assembly, the country’s 577-seat parliament. However, a poll published last week predicted that En Marche! could win a governing majority in the lawmaking body when legislative elections are held in June.
Europe enthusiast: Unlike Le Pen, Macron is pro-European Union and wants France to remain in the political bloc as well as continue to use the euro currency. He does want it be reformed, though. He will seek closer cooperation with EU members on security, trade and budgets.
Married to a woman 24 years his senior: A former investment banker, Macron married his high school French and drama teacher, Brigitte Trogneux. She is 64 — 24 years his senior. In a book called Emmanuel Macron: A Perfect Young Man, French journalist Anne Fulda says that Macron was 15 when he met Trogneux. Macron vowed to marry her at 16. After Trogneux’s relationship with her first husband ended, the pair married in 2007.
Macron will have to take on a larger portfolio of issues than merely the French economy. His advisers admit that, prior to mounting his campaign, he’d had little interest in foreign policy beyond what could be practiced in Brussels.