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During his inauguration speech as President of France on Sunday, Emmanuel Macron said he was determined to overcome the challenges facing France.
At 39, Emmanuel Macron becomes France’s youngest leader since Napoleon.
French president vows new start
Emmanuel Macron promised to restore France’s global standing, as he was officially inaugurated as the country’s youngest president at the age of 39.
“My mandate will give the French back the confidence to believe in themselves,” President Macron said at the elaborate Élysée Palace ceremony.
He vowed to see the EU “reformed and relaunched” during his time in office.
He takes over from François Hollande, whose five-year term was plagued by high unemployment figures.
Mr Macron was proclaimed France’s new president a week after his resounding victory over the National Front’s Marine le Pen, with 66% of the vote in the run-off poll.
The former investment banker, who had never contested an election before and only formed his centrist political movement a year ago, has vowed to shake up the country’s political order and reinvigorate its economy.
Tight security was in place across Paris for the ceremony at the president’s official residence, with hundreds of extra police on patrol.
France has been under a state of emergency since terror attacks in 2015 and a large section of the city centre was closed to traffic all morning.
‘World needs France’
During his inaugural address on Sunday, President Macron pledged to restore the confidence of the French people in their country’s future.
“The division and fractures in our society must be overcome,” said the 39-year-old centrist.
“The world and Europe need more than ever France, and a strong France, which speaks out loudly for freedom and solidarity,” he declared.
He said he would convince the people that “the power of France is not declining – that we are on the brink of a great renaissance”.
He was presented with a necklace once worn by Napoleon I, as a symbol of his position as Grand Master of the Legion of Honour (a title usually given to the leader of France).
Before the ceremony began, he spent nearly an hour with his predecessor, who handed him the country’s nuclear codes. It was Mr Hollande who launched the new president’s political career, appointing him first as advisor and later economy minister.
Despite historic low approval ratings, the former president tweeted after leaving the palace: “I leave a country in a much better state than I found it.”