It’s no secret that Emmanuel Macron‘s victory in France left more than one European leader heaving a huge sigh of relief.
In the event of a Marine Le Pen victory, one of her main campaigning points would have been a separation from the European Union and a closed-borders policy in regards to immigration and labour. Shortly after the first projections were released, citing Macron as the likely winner, several leaders around the world reached out to share their congratulations, while others weren’t as pleased.
Here’s how leaders around the world reacted to results of the French presidential election:
Several leaders congratulated Macron on his win
Some of Europe’s most influential leaders reached out to Macron to congratulate him on his win, often referring to European unity as a deciding factor in the vote. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who recently called an election in June ahead of beginning Brexit negotiations with the EU, sent her congratulations through a spokesperson on Twitter.
“The Prime Minister warmly congratulates President-elect Macron on his election success. France is one of our closest allies, and we look forward to working with the new president on a wide range of shared priorities,” said the statement.
In addition, the leader of the European Commission released a statement about Macron’s victory, which applauded France for “defending a strong and progressive Europe.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert also reached out to congratulate Macron on Twitter:
“Your victory is a victory for a strong united Europe and for German-French friendship.”
Other leaders, such as Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French Prime Minister Cazeneuve, Denmark Prime Minister Lars Lokke, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the former French Prime Minister Francois Hollande, heralded the win as a positive sign for both France and Europe.
….while a few lamented Le Pen’s loss
A handful of notable leaders however, weren’t as pleased with the results. French socialist politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon stated that this vote represents a vote against Le Pen, rather than a vote for Macron. Mélenchon went on to say that Macron was “planning a war on the French social system.”
French Socialist minister Vallaud Belkacem went further to say that Macron would be a weak president, and that the French people voted for him by default.
In addition, leading Brexit campaigner and former leader of Britain’s UKIP Party Nigel Farage, provided even more extreme sentiments.
“Macron offers five more years of failure, more power to the EU and a continuation of open borders. If Marine sticks in there, she can win in 2022.”
He also posted on Twitter a video of himself appearing on Fox News as a guest discussing how “euroskepticism” in France has taken a huge step forward today.
Other notable reactions
Several American politicians also praised Macron for his victory via Twitter. Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump both tweeted their congratulations to the youngest president in modern France’s history.
Perhaps the most interesting reaction however, were the comments from the losing candidate’s father, former National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen. The older Le Pen led the National Front until 2012, when he was ejected by his daughter for comments he made about Nazis in the Second World War.
The older Le Pen said that he believed the National Front’s focus on the euro and leaving the European Union is what truly cost his daughter the election, he told RTL radio station.
Le Pen has reportedly called Macron to congratulate him on his win, and pledges to relaunch the National Front following the results of this election.