French Elect Emmanuel Macron As President

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Emmanuel Macron. Image: gouvernement.fr
Emmanuel Macron. Image: gouvernement.fr

France has a new president. On May 7, the French people elected Emmanuel Macron.

It was an important decision for France. Macron’s opponent was Marine Le Pen, a “far-right” politician. If she had won, France may have pulled out of the European Union* (EU). That would have meant big changes not only for France, but possibly the whole EU.

Many people in Europe are relieved that Macron won the election. Macron is a “centrist” politician, which means he’s in the “middle” – not too far “left” or “right.”** His win means that France will stay in the European Union.

At age 39, Macron is the youngest leader of France since Napleon. (By comparison, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is 45 years old. US President Donald Trump is 70.)

Macron’s political party is En Marche! which means “Onward!” or “On the Move!” in English. En Marche! beat Le Pen’s Front National party by about 65% to 35% according to projections (meaning that the final tally had not yet been done when this article was published–but the final numbers will be close to 65/35).

Macron officially takes over from current French president François Hollande on May 14.

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*European Union: The European Union is a group of 28 countries in Europe that have agreed to co-operate—to all become one group, in many ways. For instance, people in European Union countries can travel, live and work easily in any other EU country. And businesses that are in the European Union can send products back and forth more easily. Nineteen of the EU countries all use the same money (currency)–the Euro.

**Left/Right/Centre: A political party is a group of people that hold similar beliefs about the way their country should be governed. Many countries have political parties that are “left,” “right” or in the “centre.” Most “left” political parties are “parties of the people” whereas most “right” political parties tend to support businesses. (This is a very simplified definition; it doesn’t mean that either party is more “right” or more “wrong” than the other.) A “centre” political party tends to be more in the middle, between the two, in terms of the way it governs. However, Macron, while being centrist, is known to be very business-friendly as well.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Macron is a very young leader. What advantages and disadvantages might his youth present?

Reading Prompt: Variety of Texts
The central topic of today’s article is international politics. How do articles about politics differ from other types of articles (e.g. entertainment and sports).

Junior
Read a variety of texts from diverse cultures, including literary texts  (OME, Reading: 1.1).

Intermediate
Read a wide variety of increasingly complex or difficult texts from diverse cultures, including literary texts (OME, Reading: 1.1).

Language Feature: Asterisks (*)
An asterisk is a symbol that can be used in several different ways. It flags a section and lets the reader know that something is significant about its placement and position.

Review today’s article and explain what the asterisks are used to signify.