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French vote a reaction to uncertainty: PM

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/05/2017

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The election of centrist French President-elect Emmanuel Macron is an expression against talk that the world is turning protectionist and xenophobic, Prime Minister Bill English.

Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Guadeloupe. © Rex Images Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Guadeloupe. Mr Macron defeated far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the weekend's national presidential election.

French voters in New Zealand overwhelmingly supported Mr Macron, with 92.6 percent of those registered voting for the nation's youngest president, compared to just 7.4 percent backing Mrs Le Pen.

"I think a couple of months ago I said that we approached a lot of this uncertainty around the world with naive Kiwi optimism that the world wasn't necessarily going to turn inwards and protectionist and xenophobic, as we being discussed," he said.

"The French election is an expression of, I think if anything, a bit of a reaction against that kind of talk."

Mr English has publicly congratulated Mr Macron on his win and will write to him offering the new President his personal best wishes and the support of the New Zealand government.

He said the two countries have much in common.

"I am confident that the relationship will continue to go from strength to strength under President-elect Macron. I look forward to working with him," Mr English said.

Labour leader Andrew Little took to twitter to congratulate Mr Macron on his "decisive win".

"France will remain connected to the rest of the world," he said.

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