Sunday, April 23, 2017

Europe's populist wave stalls as Macron storms into French runoff

The populist tsunami that slammed into Britain last year, before sweeping across the Atlantic to the United States, may have faded on the shores of France on Sunday.

Despite a strong performance from far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the first round of France's presidential election, the bigger news was the success of Emmanuel Macron, an independent centrist who rode to victory with a counter-intuitive campaign that embraced globalization, immigration and the European Union.

The polls suggest Macron will beat Le Pen soundly in the second round runoff on May 7. If he does, it could open the door to more ambitious reforms of the French economy and an elusive compromise with Germany on overhauling the troubled euro zone.

Just 39 years old and with only four years of political experience under his belt, Macron represents a generational change and a break from the left-right divide that has defined French politics for over half a century.

He would face formidable challenges as president. Nearly half of French voters opted for candidates on the extreme right and left of the political spectrum. These people are unlikely to embrace Macron's liberal democratic vision, leaving France a deeply divided nation. - Read More, Reuters

Europe's populist wave stalls as Macron storms into French runoff

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