Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

French Socialist ex-premier wants to join Macron's movement

French Socialist ex-premier wants to join Macron's movement

A combination photo shows U.S. President DonaldTrump walks down the stairs from the Air Force One in NY, the United States, May 4, 2017 and Emmanuel Macron greets his supporters at a rally in Paris, France, on April 23, 2017, respectively.

The statement from Macron's former boss - Macron was economy minister when Valls was premier - shows how the political map is being re-drawn in France in the wake of the 39-year-old's crushing victory over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen on Sunday.

Cohabitation has the potential to lead to a weak presidency and frustrating Macron's reform efforts, which could undermine his popularity and stoke support for politicians with a more populist bent. By voting in Emmanuel Macron-a proponent of the European Union-the French people, for the time being, stemmed that rising tide.

Hollande will delegate his powers to Macron on Sunday, May 14. He shed his breezier campaign demeanor for a solemn, more statesman-like look in his first appearances after his victory and again Monday, at a sober ceremony with Hollande to commemorate Germany's defeat in World War II. Sylvie Goulard, a French deputy to the European Parliament, said Macron would make Berlin his first official visit, with perhaps a stop to see French troops stationed overseas as well.

Le Pen said she will lead the opposition to Macron.

Macron's camp has said the names of Macron's 577 candidates for the legislative elections will be announced on Thursday.

More generally, the French election has been viewed through the prism of Brexit and the election of Trump, and Le Pen garnering the bulk of United States television coverage.

Macron will also become the first President from outside the two traditional main parties since the modern republic's foundation in 1958. The former prime minister's move was harshly criticized by the PS.

Rivals who backed Macron to counter Le Pen in the presidential runoff will now be mobilized to defeat him in the two-round June 11 and 18 parliamentary vote, aiming to elect their own party members to the National Assembly.

Le Pen, who came third in the 2012 presidential election, has spent years planting a grassroots structure for her party.

The National Front's interim president, named while Le Pen campaigned for Sunday's runoff, said the changes include giving the party a new name.

A new name would help Le Pen distance herself from the old guard - including her father, party founder Jean-Marie, who was kicked out under his daughter's image revamping.

She congratulated Macron for winning the election, and wished him success in facing "immense coming challenges".

"He wants to make €6bn of budget savings to bring France's deficit within European Union limits, but would also cut corporation tax from 33.3 per cent to 25 per cent and spend €50bn over five years on pro-growth fiscal measures such as apprenticeships and infrastructure", said Salman Ahmed, chief investment strategist at Lombard Odier Investment Managers.

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