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Swedish politicians welcome French election result

Published måndag 8 maj kl 07.28
Löfven: A victory for the French people and for European Cooperation
(4:29 min)
Jimmie Åkesson, Margot Wallström, Annie Lööf, Anna Kinberg Batra, Emmanuel Macron.
Jimmie Åkesson, Margot Wallström, Annie Lööf, Anna Kinberg Batra, Emmanuel Macron. Credit: TT

The pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidential election, defeating the far-right Front National leader, Marine Le Pen. Most of Sweden's party leaders welcomed the election of France's youngest president, but the Sweden Democrats and the Left Party saw no reason to celebrate.

Sweden's prime minister was as relieved as most other leaders in the EU given the policies of Marine Le Pen and the result of last year's Brexit vote.

This is a victory for the French people and for European cooperation. New opportunities will now open up for the proactive agenda needed to strengthen the EU, including more jobs and fair working conditions, a stronger climate policy and a functioning asylum system in which everyone takes responsibility,"

Löfven added that Sweden and France have a history of strong cooperation and that the government is now going to "tie new links to Macron's administration, and work together with them to drive European cooperation forward."

Foreign Minister Margot Wallström told SVT News that she was "relieved and happy to congratulate Emmanuel Macron on the election victory."

"I am pleased for Europe's cooperation, for Sweden, for international cooperation, for the future," Wallström said.

The Swedish Democrat's party leader Jimmie Åkesson would rather have seen Marine Le Pen as president but was not very disappointed at the outcome, which he said was expected.

But the presidential election clearly shows the new conflict between nationalism, conservatism and globalism. Social democracy in France is almost eliminated in the presidential election and several new parties and movements have emerged. There is a great opportunity for Le Pen in the future,"

The Left Party's Jonas Sjöstedt was relieved but critical of the policies of the new president-elect.

"He is a liberal right politician who I believe will reinforce several problems that France has, such as divisions in society. But fascism is something else and it has to be challenged," he told Swedish Radio News. 

Conservative Moderate leader Anna Kinberg Batra expects Macron to pursue a policy of growth and jobs in the slow-moving French economy.

"It now requires concrete reforms," she told SVT News.

The Green party's co-leaders Gustav Fridolin and Isabella Lövin congratulated Macron in a joint statement:

Transparency and humanism have defeated the rhetoric of intolerance and fear. Emmanuel Macron's victory and his view of the opportunities in Europe's cooperation show again that there are strong forces against isolationism and racism. In Europe's super election year, the voters have completely opposed right-wingers."

The Liberals' Jan Björklund was also positive over the outcome:

"It's a joyous day for Europe. The French people have said yes and yes to the EU and the euro cooperation, but the most important thing today was that Le Pen did not win," he said to SVT.

Annie Lööf of the Centre Party said that the victory was a relief for the people of Europe.

"Macron's win is another sign that Europe is turning the dangerous populism back and that liberal forces are growing stronger," Lööf said in a statement.

Mr Macron won by 66.06% to 33.94% to become, at 39, the country's youngest president.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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