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Inauguration Day: Macron Officially Becomes President of France

  • Associated Press

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Trogneux, wave to former President Francois Hollande as he leaves after the handover ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris, May 14, 2017.

France has inaugurated new president, Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year-old independent centrist who was elected May 7.

The president of the Constitutional Council, Laurent Fabius, proclaimed the official result of the vote in a ceremony Sunday at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris.

Macron formally took power after his predecessor, Socialist Francois Hollande, met with him for one hour and left. Hollande was applauded by the employees of the French presidency at his departure. He shook hands with Macron, who accompanied him to his car and also applauded him. Macron then posed for photographers at the front porch of the Elysee with his wife, Brigitte.

Macron had been Hollande's top economy adviser from 2012 to 2014, then became his economy minister until last year, when he decided to quit the Socialist government and launch his independent presidential bid.

As president, Hollande steered his nation through deadly extremist attacks, poured troops into battle abroad and anchored the boldest world agreement to fight global warming.

But as he hands power Sunday to his former protege, he may be most remembered for his failure to create jobs and his crushing unpopularity.

The two were to meet in the president’s office before Hollande’s departure, taking a last few minutes to discuss the most sensitive issues facing France, including the country’s nuclear codes.

Macron takes charge of a nation that, when Britain leaves the European Union in 2019, will become the EU’s only member with nuclear weapons and a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.

Macron will then make a speech in the Elysee reception hall in front of about 300 guests, officials and family members, including his wife, Brigitte Macron.

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