France's Hollande greets Macron in first meeting since victory

Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron

This would leave much of Macron's agenda stymied, if not dead on arrival, including his proposed labour law to try to reduce the unemployment rate of about 10% and his plan to cut public spending and re-industrialise France through innovation-led policies.

On Friday night, an hour before a French media blackout ahead of the vote, a cache of hacked En Marche! files, reportedly mixed with some falsified documents, were published online in an attack that bore some of the hallmarks of the hack on the Democrat party in last year's U.S. election.

"I can tell you that the federal government's dismissive attitude toward euro bonds remains valid", government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference when asked if Germany would back Macron should he push for euro bonds.

Other world leaders from Canada to Latin America to Australia also congratulated Macron on his historic victory.

Now she vows to go further with still more changes to reach an even wider spectrum of voters, "those who choose France, defend its independence, its freedom, its prosperity, its security, its identity and its social model".

Eurosceptics have been on the rise on a continent badly rattled by the eurozone debt crisis and the mass refugee influx that peaked in 2015 and angered especially eastern European Union members on the so-called Balkans route.

Mr Hollande announced that the inauguration of his successor will take place on Sunday.

However, the tide appears to be turning this year, starting with the defeat in March in the Netherlands of anti-Islam candidate Geert Wilders.

"Happy that the French chose a European future", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wrote on Twitter. Quarter-final: "Stable Netherlands. Semi-final: "La France en Marche!". He also looked beyond the election.

In Brussels, Macron's win was met with a sigh of relief, as European Union leaders have watched several elections in the past year as litmus tests of the strength of their 28-member bloc.

"I will be at the head of this combat", she said.

"The EU can't keep feeling its way from one election to the next".

Many, however, warned it was too early to claim victory for centrist politics.

"This is a victory for the French people and for European cooperation".

Macron handily defeated far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen in Sunday's presidential runoff, and now must pull together a majority of lawmakers for his year-old political movement to run in the mid-June legislative election.

Among others floated as potential premiers are Xavier Bertrand, a veteran of the Republican who heads the Hauts-de-France, and outgoing Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who after Macron's win urged France to "come together and be united in this hard period".

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