Macron buses highlight new French president's mixed legacy

Macron buses highlight new French president's mixed legacy

The win of the pro-Europe centrists in France, Europe's major power along with Gerrmany, is the most convincing affirmation yet that mainstream Europe desires to stick with the European Union, unlike Britain, which moved away last June after the Brexit vote.

Among them is Jean-Michel Fauvergue, the commander of the elite RAID police unit that took down the Islamic State cell that carried out the November 13, 2015, Paris attacks, including its ring leader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was killed in the operation. All that's missing, it seems, are a butcher, a baker and a candlestick-maker.

His party was only created 13 months ago and does not have any representatives in the National Assembly.

Observers are saying Emmanuel Macron's election as president of France is a victory for Europe.

President-elect Emmanuel Macron is seen on a giant screen near the Louvre museum.

In his first speech delivered after the win, Macron expressed "profound gratitude" to his voters, pledging to "calm the fears" and "bring all the French together". But for the first time in the country's post-war history, the new President does not have a big party machine behind him, with the two main governing parties, the Republicans and Socialists, crashing out in the first round.

Without that, Mr Macron would be forced to forge alliances, which could mean a watering down of his campaign promises.

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The Socialists are torn between the radical left of their defeated candidate Benoit Hamon and the more centrist, pro-business branch led by Manuel Valls, who was prime minister under Hollande.

After losing to Macron on Sunday, Le Pen said she wanted to transform the party, while other party officials said an alternative name was being considered.

Despite Le Pen's efforts to purge her National Front (FN) party of the anti-Semitism which became its trademark under the leadership of her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, the party continues to court controversy over the issue.

She said she hoped and believed that cooperation with Macron would progress "in exactly this spirit".

But EU commissioner Pierre Moscovici, who was finance minister under Hollande from 2012-14, urged his party not to establish itself as Macron's opposition. "My responsibility will be to unite all the women and men ready to take on the tremendous challenges which are waiting for us, and to act", he said.

"We note the singularity of this prime minister in office in recent years", he said.

Macron's victory has come as a relief not only for liberal and moderate voters in France, but perhaps for the entire European Union as well, whose solidarity is under serious threat as the Euroskeptic extreme right has been bestriding European politics like the Colossus in recent years.