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European press review 8 May 2017


International Press welcomes convincing victory of pro-European reformist Emmanuel Macron as France's next President but warns of incomplete victory ahead of parliamentary elections and rising populism in the EU powerhouse. 

We start with the big splash in today's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung welcoming the election of pro-European Centrist Emmanuel Macron as an escape from an unthinkable nightmare.

France it says, will not be governed by a woman from the Far-Right, adding that Macron's convincing victory restores confidence in Europe even though the EU is having no illusions.

That's the view also upheld by Spain's El Païs which welcomes France's ability to contain the wave of populist discontent which triumphed in the US elections in November and during the referendum on Europe in the United Kingdom.

"After Brexit and Trump,there will be no Le Pen", concludes the popular publication, with a not of relief.

In Switzerland, Le Temps welcomes the arrival of a fresh pair of hands at the Elysée Palace. Emmanuel Macron who in the paper's words won his incredible bet.

Beyond the rather disturbing abstention rate, it argues and the radicalization of the traditional vote both from the left and the right, after the disintegration of traditional parties, le lesson to be learned from the May 7 election is that France has chosen a freshman to undertake its economic transformation.

London Times says the landslide for Macron will eased concerns about the country's future in the Eurozone.

In Belgium, Le Soir says history will remember that it was Luxembourg's Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, who was first to congratulate Emmanuel Macron on his convincing victory.

The paper says, his tweet celebrating the victory of European values, openness and solidarity, was followed by an avalange of messages from the vast majority of European commissioners including the Presidents of the European Parliament , the EU council and the EU Commission.

In the United Kingdom, the Financial Times hails Macron's win but cautioned that his "victory is incomplete «warning that the electoral race "legitimized the French far right as never before".

"If Mr. Macron should stumble, it is altogether unclear what solution might keep Ms. Le Pen at bay in 2022," writes the paper.

The Guardian similarly wishes Macron "bonne chance" however warning him of a tough road ahead. But it also salutes French voters, saying they had made Europe safer through their choice of Macron.

In Russia, the online publication underlines that the new French President will have to respond to to the high aspirations for change, ironically with some concessions to the conservative election manifesto, negatively perceived as a deja vue by voters

In the United States, the New York Times holds in an editorial that Macron's "was a victory of hope and optimism over fear and reaction; of a future in Europe rather than in resentful isolation".

But the publication notes daunting challenges awaiting him as he takes charge of a nation "deeply divided, much like the United States, Britain and other major democracies, with many people feeling marginalized by globalization, economic stagnation, an unresponsive government, unemployment, faceless terrorism and a tide of immigrants".

In an opinion piece for Fox News, says "France has taken the easy way out, and voted for more of the same". According to the staunchly conservative channel, Macron wants France to stay in the European Union and continue its open borders policy that has brought thousands of Muslim immigrants to France.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post said France had "shrugged off the siren call of right-wing populism that enchanted voters in the United States and United Kingdom".

In China, daily Global Times hailed Macron's victory as a win against a "populism trend" following US President Donald Trump's election last year. "It may be too early to conclude that today's peak of popularism in world politics is beginning to wane," the nationalist newspaper says.

The Beijing-based publication holds that "years later, when we look back upon this election, we may find that France made a wise choice for human civilisation in helping to keep it moving forward at such a crucial time, rather than setting it back".

And in South Africa, Mail and Guardian describes Emmanuel Macron as a European integrationist who is pro-NATO and orthodox in foreign and defence policy. The publication observes that he has shown no sign of wishing to change France’s traditional alliances or re-shape its military and peace-keeping roles in the Middle East and Africa.





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