Macron beats Le Pen to EU's sigh of relief

Theresa May has warmly congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his election success

Theresa May has warmly congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his election success

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, told Macron: "I am delighted that the ideas you defended of a strong and progressive Europe, which protects all its citizens, will be those that you will carry into your presidency".

Hamon went on to make a disastrous showing in the presidential election, being eliminated in the first round in fifth place.

Among the approximately 450 candidates set to be announced on Thursday will be a number of familiar political faces from the Socialist party and from the centrist party Modem, headed by Macron ally Francois Bayrou.

Macron's movement is banking that voters, having elected him, won't want to see his presidency hobbled so quickly.

Anti-capitalist candidate Melenchon - who won seven million votes in the April 23 first round - is also angling for the consolation prize of opposition leader. But that is far from guaranteed. Macron can't count on their loyalty. There were brief clashes with police and several arrests. "Macron: Not even started, already hated", it read.

Macron's movement announced Monday that it was rebranding itself with a new name, "Republic on the Move".

His announcement appeared to take the president-elect's camp by surprise.

Mr Macron is preparing the groundwork for his transition to power, with plans for a visit to Germany and a name change for his political movement. It will release its list of 577 candidates on Thursday.

"The only credible change would be for Marion Le Pen to replace Marine Le Pen, because she is clearly superior to her", di Borgo said. In interviews Monday, National Front officials said the party founded by her father would get a new name to try and draw in a broader spectrum of supporters.

Republicans vice-president Laurent Wauquiez emphasised Macron's vulnerability, noting he had been a grudging choice of president for many voters, who backed him only to block Le Pen.

Francis Kalifat, president of CRIF, called the victory "incontestable" and congratulated Macron on it.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said in a statement that while Macron's election is "extremely encouraging", his group is "concerned that a third of the French population voted for a risky political leader".

Market reaction Monday to Macron's victory was subdued: investors were expecting it and seem wary of the difficulties he faces. France's CAC 40 index, which last week touched the highest level since early 2008, slipped 0.8 percent to 5,391 on Monday.

The euro, which had risen Sunday night in the wake of the news of Macron's victory, edged back down 0.5 percent to $1.0943.

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