Thursday, May 19, 2022

France’s Hollande greets Macron in first meeting since victory

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Outgoing French president Francois Hollande (C) and French president-elect Emmanuel Macron walk during the ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany during WWII on May 8, 1945 under the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris on May 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

French President Francois Hollande warmly greeted Emmanuel Macron on Monday in their first public meeting since the centrist’s resounding election victory the day before.

Hollande smiled and clasped the arms of his one-time economy minister as the two men attended a ceremony at Paris’s Arc de Triomphe to commemorate victory over the Nazis in World War II.

The president walked beside the 39-year-old Macron to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the monument, where they laid a wreath.

Hollande plucked Macron from obscurity three years ago when he named the former investment banker his economy minister, marking the start of his meteoric rise to Sunday’s electoral victory over far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Final results from the interior ministry out Monday showed Macron — who will be France’s youngest ever president — won 66.1 percent of the vote against 33.9 percent for Le Pen.

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