Hailemariam Congratulates New French President

Hailemariam Congratulates New French President

During his inaugural address on Sunday, President Macron pledged to restore the confidence of the French people in their country's future.

Mr Macron, a 39-year-old centrist, took the reins of power from his predecessor, Socialist Francois Hollande, at the presidential Elysee Palace in central Paris.

Mr Macron, who is the youngest president in the country's history, said in his inauguration speech: "We will take all our responsibilities to provide, every time it's needed, a relevant response to big contemporary crises".

All countries in the world are "interdependent ... we are all neighbours", he said.

Earlier, Mr Macron was handed France's nuclear codes, putting him in charge of what will be the EU's only arsenal of atomic weapons after Brexit is complete.

He must now try to win a majority in June parliamentary elections for his start-up Republic on the Move (REM) party, which has blown apart traditional French political boundaries.

After holding private talks, Hollande will leave the Elysee Palace and Macron will be sworn in.

The new president faces a host of challenges including tackling high unemployment, fighting Islamist-inspired violence and healing divisions exposed by a vicious election campaign.

Macron arrived at the Elysee palace on Sunday and walked down a red carpet.

About 300 guests, officials and family members gathered in the Elysee reception hall, including Mr Macron's wife, Brigitte, wearing a lavender blue dress by French designer Nicolas Ghesquiere for Louis Vuitton.

A former economy minister with pro-business, pro-European views, Macron quit Hollande's Socialist government a year ago to launch his independent bid.

He will have to name his prime minister and form a government in the following days.

Also invited to the ceremony was the partner of the police officer who was killed on the Champs Elysee by a terrorist just before the first round of voting in the presidential elections. Macron will seek to reassure voters on the left and the right that he is not moving too far away from them - all while emphasizing his newcomer bona fides.

To underline his European ambitions, Macron will visit German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday in his first foreign trip.

After the ceremony, he took part in a slow procession down the Champs-Elysees, walking and riding in a military vehicle until he reached the Arc de Triomphe and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at its base.

A 21 gun salute at the Esplanade des Invalides behind the Eiffel Tower after he takes power will mark at least a pause in the anti-globalization trend that brought Donald Trump the USA presidency and led British voters to pick a future outside the European Union. Their average age is 46, compared to 60 for the outgoing assembly, and half of them are women. Only 24 are lawmakers running for re-election.

Hollande noted his accomplishments in getting the Paris Agreement on climate change, legalizing gay marriage and doing "everything possible to ensure that Greece stays in Europe". "We hold in our hands all the strengths of a power of the 21st century".

France has been under a state of emergency since terror attacks in 2015 and remains on a high alert.

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