EU responds to first round of French election votes

World Today

Mainstream politicians in France and across Europe have been quick to throw their backing behind Emmanuel Macron.

CGTN’s Guy Henderson reports.

EU responds to France first round elections

Mainstream politicians in France and across Europe have been quick to throw their backing behind Emmanuel Macron.

They’re not celebrating yet but the parties of Europe’s status quo are breathing a sigh of relief though in Germany, perhaps loudest of all.

“The first round result is important for France because Emmanuel Macron has the courage and the strength to lead the country out of its lethargy. And it is a large European nation without which we cannot shape Europe. That’s why his program for France is tantamount to a new beginning in Europe,” Sigmar Gabriel, German foreign minister said.

Emmanuel Macron may have cast himself as a political outsider promising change but he is an ardent Europhile who traveled to Berlin twice on the campaign trail. Polls show he’s most likely to beat his run-off partner Marine Le Pen, who on the other hand, took a trip to Moscow recently to get her message across.

Her right-wing National Front party wants a referendum on the Euro that could set France on a path out of the EU entirely.

Speaking from there on Monday, the EU’s foreign policy chief made no secret of her preference for a candidate who’s tougher stance on Russia is more in line with the bloc’s own.

“One can feel proud, Italian in my case and a proud European, a proud French and a proud European, as Emmanuel feels, without denying the need to change and reform also our living together in the union, but putting all the energy we have in that.”, Federica Mogherini, European Union foreign policy chief said.

European stocks showed similar verve on Monday though traders said they’re cautious.

“What exactly is being celebrated, I can’t really say! The French election is a major factor but it is just the first round, and the markets have shown that they are not exactly a stronghold of wisdom when it comes to future developments, as we saw with Trump, and with Brexit,” Oliver Roth a trader at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange said.

There is after all, still an election campaign going on.