Macron inaugurated as French president

Katrina Barker
May 15, 2017

The former investment banker who had never even contested an election before was then proclaimed president by Laurent Fabius, president of the Constitutional Council.

Macron is the youngest president in the country's history and the 8th president of France's Fifth Republic, created in 1958.

After a warm welcome from outgoing President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace at around 10:00 a.m. local time (0800 GMT), Macron and Hollande held a closed-door meeting during which Macron was handed the codes to launch France's nuclear arsenal.

Questions have been asked about Macron's mandate after he won just 24.01 percent in the first round of the presidential election before a landslide victory over Le Pen in the second.

Mr Macron had been Mr Hollande's top economy adviser from 2012 to 2014, then became his economy minister until previous year, when he made a decision to quit the Socialist government and launch his independent presidential bid.

France officially has a new leader: Independent centrist Emmanuel Macron was inaugurated Sunday morning as the country's new president.

François Hollande helped bring about the Paris climate warming agreement "and protected the French people in a world hit by terrorism".

After Emmanuel Macron was formally declared president Sunday in the Elysee Palace, 21 cannon shots were fired from across the Seine River at the Invalides monument, where Napoleon is entombed.

Mr Macron announced his determination to push ahead with reforms to free up France's economy and pledged to press for a "more efficient, more democratic" EU.

The new president's wife Brigitte, a 64-year-old who was his high school drama teacher, listened to his sombre 12-minute speech wearing a light blue Louis Vuitton outfit.

Etienne, a 61-year old former ambassador well known both in Brussels and Berlin, was appointed to be the incoming president's diplomatic advisor, Macron's staff said.

After the ceremony, he took part in a slow procession down the Champs-Elysees, walking and riding in a military vehicle until he reached the Arc de Triomphe and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at its base. Macron has already forged close ties with European Union anchor nation Germany, and will head for Berlin on Monday to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel and ram home the message that the bloc is resilient despite Britain's "Brexit" vote.

It was revealed that the suit he wore for his inauguration cost a modest €450 (£381), in an apparent attempt to dissociate himself from "bling-bling" politics.

Macron, once Hollande's economy minister, then accompanied his former mentor down the red carpet to a waiting vehicle.

Hollande's five years in power were plagued by a slow economy and bloody terror attacks that killed more than 230 people.

The next challenge for the centrist leader's movement is to win 290 seats in the legislative elections next month in order to secure a majority.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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