About a month ago, France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, was elected. In the weeks before the second round voting, it wasn’t a great surprise that Macron would win against Marine Le Pen; however he was a candidate that seemed to enter the presidential race (and end up winning it!) d’une manière inattendue (unexpectedly).
Here are five facts you may not have known about France’s new president:
- Emmanuel Macron is the youngest president in the history of France, assuming his duties at the age of thirty-nine. Before Macron, the youngest French head of state was Napoleon III, who was forty upon being elected.
- Just three years before becoming president of France, Macron was virtually unknown in the political arena. After graduating from the National School of Administration in 2004, Macron took an upper-level civil service job before entering into investment banking at Rothschild. He made a small fortune there and was highly regarded as a professional and intelligent worker by his colleagues.In 2012, Macron, who was familiar with French president François Hollande, was appointed deputy secretary-general at the Elysée. In 2015, he was appointed Minister of the Economy. It was an incredible rise in power and position for the young politician.
- Macron is most famously known for la loi Macron, an unpopular law (particularly among the Socialist Party) that abolished union restrictions on working hours, allowing many more businesses to be open on Sundays, for example. He became known as la bête noire among leftists in France. Around this time, he announced he was no longer a member of the Socialist Party and was now independent.
- After Macron’s ascent into politics, an online, grassroots movement called Les Jeunes avec Macron (The Youth for Macron) began. They raised political funds for Macron’s eventual presidential bid. Largely due to this favorable response, Macron announced the creation of his own party En Marche! (Let’s Go! or Onward!) in 2015. En Marche! is a centrist party with pro-business and pro-European Union leanings that has had great popularity with France’s youth.
- Some of Macron’s critics criticize him for being part of what they call la gauche caviar. This means that, while Macron is seen as progressive on certain social issues, or as a socialist, his lifestyle contradicts socialist values. Macron drew a lot of flak from French critics for wearing thousand-dollar suits whilst speaking about the plight of France’s poor.
It remains to be seen how Macron’s presidency will play out. As an outsider with no experience as an elected official, his potential actions and legacy remain un mystère.
By the way… want more free language learning resources, advice, and news from Transparent Language? Sign up for our newsletter!