Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Unemployment, Terrorism, Europe Are Macron’s Main Challenges | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55373528

Outgoing French President Francois Hollande (R) and President-elect Emmanuel Macron attend a ceremony to mark the end of World War II at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, May 8, 2017. (REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)

Paris – French President-elect Emmanuel Macron will face major internal and global challenges represented in lowering unemployment rates, fighting terrorism and reforming the European Union.

France faces high unemployment rates that have reached 10 percent, while terrorist attacks against the European country have claimed the lives of dozens of civilians since 2015.

The European Union, for its part, has been witnessing severe divisions and a major identity crisis, which was mainly incited by the exit of Britain.

Macron was elected president of France on Sunday, defeating Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist who threatened to take France out of the European Union.

France’s Interior Ministry said that with all ballots counted early Monday, Macron won 66.1 percent of the vote, whereas Le Pen got 33.9 percent.

In remarks following the release of the first projections, Le Pen said she had congratulated Macron, adding that she was satisfied with the results achieved by her National Front. However, Le Pen called on all patriots “to join us” in constituting a “new political force” during the upcoming legislative elections.

On Monday, Macron attended his first official ceremony, when he joined outgoing French President Francois Hollande to mark the end of World War II at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

The president-elect resigned from his post as the leader of “En Marche!” political party on Monday.

Catherine Barbaroux has been named as interim leader of the movement, which changed its name to “République En Marche”.

In a news conference, Richard Ferrand, the party’s secretary-general said: “The first act of the recasting of our political life ended yesterday with the accession of Emmanuel Macron to the presidency of the Republic.”

He added the movement would begin the battle for the legislative elections and campaign under the new name.

The two-round legislative elections are scheduled to take place on June 11 and June 18 to elect the 577 members of the National Assembly.

When he moves into the Elysée Palace after his inauguration on Sunday, Macron will become the eighth – and youngest – president of France’s Fifth Republic.