We have a new President.
The whole world has learned by now that France has voted for Emmanuel Macron, the youngest man to step into this role since Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, Napoleon III.
Born in Paris on 20th April 1808, Louis-Napoléon became President on 20th December 1848.
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, nephew and heir of Napoléon I, was the first head of State to take the title of President and he was the only President of the Second Republic. Barred from running for a second term, he organised a coup d’etat and took the throne as Emperor of France on 2nd December 1852. He remains the longest serving Head of State in France since the French Revolution, and died in exile in England in 1873 after the fall of his Empire in 1870.
Emmanuel Macron steps into the role of President at the age of thirty-nine and six months so just a tad younger than France’s last Emperor, making Macron the youngest President in French history. Does his age matter? Yes and no. His youth and energy are seen here as a breath of fresh air. His beautiful wife Brigitte Macron is over twenty years his senior making him, I believe, a man with an individual spirit who follows his own path, his own destiny. I watched a clip of their wedding recently and was charmed by the way he spoke so openly about embracing their age difference. I find it quite remarkable when one considers the chauvinism so often shown in politics.
I, we, hope that this mindset will bring courage and a new way of thinking to French politics. Most here are saying that the country is in dire need of reform. Yes, there is much that needs to be addressed – our very high unemployment figures (around ten per cent), the weight of bureaucracy in the public sectors – both are two concerns regularly cited.
Another urgent issue is…