Trump praises Macron for 'big win' in France's election

The signature of the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi is seen on the new 50 euro banknote during a presentation by the German Central Bank at its headquarters in Frankfurt Germany

The German Bundesbank presents the new 50 euro banknote at it's headquarters in Frankfurt Thomson Reuters

France has a new president.

Centrist candidate Macron decisively won the French presidential election yesterday, defeating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

Addressing his supporters in the grand courtyard of the Louvre, Macron said he would defend France and Europe.

After his victory, the news agency quoted him as saying, "I know the divisions in our nation, which have led some to vote for the extremes. I respect them", he declared, solemnly. "It is my responsibility to hear them".

Michael Roth, Germany's deputy foreign minister, applauded Macron's win but said the result was marred by the fact that 11 million people in France voted for Le Pen.

On the other side of the political spectrum, far-right leader and Marine Le Pen ally Matteo Salvini chose not to congratulate or allude to Macron's win. But she vowed to continue her fight.

One thing is for sure: many around the world who never followed French politics before are now riveted.

"In these conditions it is especially important to overcome mutual mistrust and unite efforts to ensure worldwide stability and security", Putin told Macron. Macron will need to hold his own when dealing with leaders with whom he is unlikely to get on well, such as Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Macron faces a tall order securing a majority in the parliamentary vote to push through labour, welfare and education reform. (Onwards!), which he created previous year, does not hold a single seat in France's lower-house of parliament.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his election victory and says he hopes to meet the French president-elect soon. A vote for globalisation, not nationalism. It's barely a win for the EU, which is still bungling Brexit negotiations and facing a loss of popularity across the continent-even countries that have joined the EU more recently than Western European ones and have been historically enthusiastic, like Poland, have elected Euroskeptic governments.

Despite the heated race between the two candidates, voter turnout in the election was down sharply on previous years, with only 66 per cent of people casting their vote. "I don't think it's good for France".

The French presidential race - which has been closely watched around the world - became the latest referendum in the West on globalization and its benefits and societal costs.

As the day began, French voters faced a stark choice.

So will we see a new France and what does his victory mean for Europe?

And opposition politicians like Le Pen and Mr Wilders have gained a stronger platform from which to promote their messages. French voters on Sunday ultimately rejected her populist wave of "French-first" nationalism by a large margin, in which Le Pen had threatened to leave the European Union.

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