|Credits: Gouvernement français|
Anxiety has prevailed in France and well over the rest of Europe in the past few days leading to the country's presidential elections as Emmanuel Macron -- a virtual political greenhorn and pro-European Union (EU) -- is pitted against the conservative National Front party's bet, far-right hardliner Marine Le Pen.
However, Macron's win Sunday night has elicited sighs of relief from the entire European community with the promise that France shall remain a member of the EU under the new Macron regime.
Macron has earlier stressed in his campaign his desire to strengthen ties with the EU through proactive immigrant policies and economic sharing packages. This comes in the heels of a painful blow earlier dealt to the said community with the departure of Great Britain, or Brexit.
Suffering from an even more painful blow is the ultra-right wing National Front who vowed to break its ties from the EU if Le Pen succeeded in her presidential aspirations.
Le Pen’s anti-EU views and populist stance has created controversy in recent time. She came under fire for tweeting graphic images of the decapitated body of a freelance journalist who was allegedly killed by Islamic State forces. This has prompted the European Parliament to move that her parliamentary immunity be lifted. Le Pen blamed the EU for the political pressure allegedly put on her. She noted, “This only shows French citizens what EU is, what the European Parliament is, and that it’s all part of the system that wants to stop me -- the French people’s candidate.”