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French President-elect Emmanuel Macron begins official duties at WWII ceremony

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron begins official duties at WWII ceremony

Emmanuel Macron's convincing election to the French presidency will have been greeted with sighs of relief on both sides of the Channel, but in London, Brussels and Berlin, the installation of such a young and untested politician in the Elysee Palace should give as much cause for trepidation as for celebration.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker sent congratulations to Macron, expressing happiness the French "have chosen a European future".

Macron pledged Sunday evening to heal France's rifts, saying he would work to address the concerns exposed throughout one of the most divisive campaigns of the country's recent history.

He will be sworn in this Sunday (May 14), outgoing President Fran├žois Hollande has said. There is no mistaking the stamp of kind of centre-Left politics defined by former British prime minister Tony Blair in the 39-year-old investment banker, an aficionado of $1,000 tailored suits - France's youngest president, and its youngest head of state since Napoleon Bonaparte.

The party's Vice President, Florian Philippot, who is gay, said the party must now undergo major change, with a new name being inevitable.

"A Macron win is largely priced into the euro", said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto". "I want Emmanuel Macron to succeed". Le Pen's proposals included holding a referendum on European Union and euro membership - and experts agree the euro wouldn't have survived the departure of its founding member and second-biggest economy. Le Pen's campaign advisers say the National Front is now the "primary opposition party in the country".

The euro fell the most against the dollar since late March, having risen in overnight trade to just above $1.10 when opinion polls signalled the scale of Macron's victory over anti-euro nationalist Marine Le Pen.

Charles Platiau  Reuters
Front National leader Marine Le Pen has pledged to'detoxify and re-brand her party to reach even more voters
Charles Platiau Reuters Front National leader Marine Le Pen has pledged to'detoxify and re-brand her party to reach even more voters

"Some will cast blank ballots, others will go fishing, others will vote for Marine Le Pen".

The telegram went on: "In these condition it is especially important to overcome mutual distrust and join forces to ensure global stability and security".

Macron had campaigned on a pro-EU platform, in stark contrast to Le Pen, who vowed to pull France out of the union in a referendum, as Britain voted to do previous year.

"His large victory confirms that a very large majority of our citizens wanted to assemble around the values of the Republic and mark their attachment to the European Union as well as to the openness of France in the world", Hollande said in a statement.

Macron fared slightly worse among "occasionally practising Catholics", however, with only 54 per cent backing him compared to 46 per cent voting Le Pen.

Combining an element of luck with surprisingly skillful campaigning in a political process that saw older political parties falling by the wayside, Macron, an investment banker and former minister in the outgoing government of Francois Hollande, has the hard task of making France more business-friendly while also maintaining the social safety nets that the French people have become used to. "I will fight with all my strength against the divisions that undermine us".

Cereals, hair oil, soaps to cost less in GST; cess on cars
Jaitley said that in case the Council is unable to complete discussions, it might decide to meet again in the "near future". Currently, there are 17 items in the negative list of services on which service tax is not levied.



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