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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Saturday, December 16, 2017

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Emmanuel Macron officially installed as the youngest president in modern French history

Hollande made way for Macron

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PARIS, France - Ending his unpopular presidency, with a handover to Emmanuel Macron, who was officially installed as the youngest president in modern French history on Sunday - Francois Hollande ended his five-year term. > BNN

Hollande made way for Macron, his former adviser and then economy minister at a ceremony at the Elysee presidential palace.

Hollande’s presidency ended his tough five year period, when France faced a spate of deadly extremist attacks, poured troops into battle abroad and anchored the boldest-ever world agreement to fight global warming.

Of all the problems that have gripped the country over the last five years - Hollande’s time in power would be remembered most for his failure to create jobs and his crushing unpopularity.

As France continues to remain under a state of emergency, Macron steps into a position of power, facing a massive challenge to silence his critics who have said that he is inexperienced and passive on extremism - further he also has to unite the nation, rejuvenate the economy and breathe new life into the beleaguered EU. 

In the ceremony at the Elysee Palace in central Paris, the 39-year-old centrist was inaugurated as France's youngest ever president.

After ascending the red carpet at the Elysee Palace in central Paris, Macron and Hollande held a private meeting in the president's office where Macron was given the codes to launch France's nuclear weapons.

Hollande, who launched Macron's political career, taking him out of the world of investment banking, and making him his advisor and then his economy minister.

With tight security of around 1,500 police officers deployed near the presidential palace and the nearby Champs-Elysees avenue - surrounding roads were blocked.

At the end of the ceremony, a 21-gun salute rang out from the Invalides military hospital on the other side of the River Seine.

Macron visited Paris's town hall, a traditional stop for any new French president in his "host" city post a lunch.

Macron was accompanied by his 64-year-old wife Brigitte. 

In his speech to mark the occasion, Macron encouraged the French to embrace the future, to hold him to a high standard and to join him in the hard work ahead.

Commenting on the day he was elected, he said, “I reassure you that not for a single second did I think that everything changed as if by magic on May 7. This will be slow work, demanding, but indispensable. It will be up to me to convince the French that our country, which seems threatened by the sometimes contrary winds of the world, carries in its heart all the resources to be a nation of the first rank.”

Without wasting any time, post the inauguration, on Sunday afternoon - Macron, as the new commander in chief, visited wounded soldiers at a military hospital outside Paris. 

Further, in keeping with tradition, he is expected to travel to Berlin to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Monday - where he is set to discuss a variety of issues, including the contentious Brexit negotiations. 

He will also announce his pick for prime minister and the rest of the government should be named by midweek.

Through the week, Macron is also scheduled to visit French soldiers who are serving in places such as Mali and Central African Republic.

In his speech, Macron has said that his presidency would be guided by two concerns - including finding ways to help the French “have confidence in themselves again” and making France prosperous and strong.

 

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