French President-elect Macron gears up for challenges ahead

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

He expressed Iran's "readiness to constantly exchange views [with the French officials] on bilateral, regional and global issues" and hoped that obstacles in the way of enhanced cooperation would be removed during Macron's tenure. He has never held elected office, and just over a year ago his political movement En Marche! did not even exist.

The clear bias in favor of Macron in the markets over the far-right candidate Le Pen rests on a number of factors, above all related to his views on Europe.

My humble advice to Macron: Don't follow America.

Her tally was nearly double the score that her father Jean-Marie, the last far-right candidate to make the presidential runoff, achieved in 2002, when he was trounced by the conservative Jacques Chirac.

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If Macron's party performs poorly, he also could be forced to form a coalition government, a regular occurrence in many European countries but far less common in France.

According to Le Monde, a quarter of registered voters did not show up to vote, making the turnout of 75 percent the lowest recorded in any final round of the presidential elections since 1969.

On Monday, though, Hollande gripped Macron's arm before the two men walked side by side and then announced the transfer of power would take place on Sunday, a week after the election.

Le Pen wants to change the name of the party, in a bid to distance herself from the party's anti-Semitic past and her hard-line father, party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen. "He's got 24 hours", Griveaux said.

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Sylvie Goulard, a French deputy to the European Parliament, said Macron would make Berlin his first official visit, with perhaps a stop to see French troops stationed overseas as well. He suggested relaxing European Union rules on state spending to allow France to boost its economic growth.

Whilst the French public might not have fully embraced the National Front's brand of populism, the election results still mark the party's shift from a fringe force to a political heavyweight.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that millions of Europeans were counting on the success of incoming French president Emmanuel Macron. If another party wins a majority, Macron could be pressured to choose a prime minister from that party, a situation the French call "cohabitation".

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

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