«Neither left nor right» Emmanuel Macron was considered to be an outsider, a dark-horse candidate at France’s presidential election in 2017. Controversial personal life, the secrecy surrounding his biography and his unexpected appearance on the political Olympus all drew attention to Macron’s persona. The presidential election, held on May 7, 2017, resulted in him winning and becoming the President of the French Republic.
Life before political career
Emmanuel Macron was born in December 1977 in Amiens, the city in Northern France. His parents were people of science: father, Jean-Michel Macron, professor of neurology at the University of Picardy, while his mother, Françoise, was a doctor of medicine.
Emmanuel spent the majority of his school years at a local Christian school, however, for the last year of school he transferred to the elite Lycée Henri-IV. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at the University of Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense to study Philosophy. Macron later obtained a master's degree in public affairs at the Paris Institute of Political Studies and worked as an editorial assistant to Paul Ricoeur from 1999 to 2001. In 2004, he graduated from École Nationale d'Administration.
The future politician began his career as a financial inspector at the branch of the Finance Ministry (from 2004 to 2008) where he was invited by Jacques Attali, a former counselor to President, before taking a position at the investment bank Rothschild & Cie Banque.
Confident steps in politics
Macron’s political career began in 2006 after he joined the Socialist Party, where he was a member for the following three years. However, numerous French titles claimed Macron’s joining the party to be a formality – he never paid membership fees and didn’t participate in any party’s events.
Macron changed his place of employment in 2012 when he relocated to the Élysée Palace and became a part of President François Hollande’s (also a socialist) staff. Macron held the Deputy Secretary General of the Élysée position up until June 2014. Two months later, Emmanuel Macron, aged 36, was appointed as the Minister of Economy and Finance thus becoming the youngest Minister in France.
Being at the forefront of the economics, Macron passed a number of laws and amendments, including the famous Macron Law, adopted on August 6, 2015, which was fully titled as «The law on economic growth, activity and equal opportunities». The document stipulated a number of amendments regarding commerce, transport, construction, small businesses, the practice of law, and various other pressing issues.
French President Macron`s interview
Macron Law, for instance, fixed the regulations based around Sunday work, allowing shops to work 12 Sundays a year instead of 5, established by the law, while in the tourist areas the restrictions were lifted altogether. The law proposed to create a chain of low-cost intercity buses, to deregulate liberal professions in the field of law: such as lawyers, notaries, appraisers, bailiffs, and others, which would reduce rates for their services. The law had a mixed reception and caused massive protests.
Exactly a year later, Emmanuel Macron formed his own independent political party simply called En Marche. In autumn of 2016, he formally declared his candidacy for the French presidency.
While working on his electoral program, the young political talent had simultaneously written a book titled Révolution, which recounted his plans for the office in detail. The book was quickly sold out and became one of the bestsellers in France.
Emmanuel Macron was running for president of France in April of 2017. Based on the results after the first round of the election, both Macron and Marine Le Pen progressed to the second round with Macron leading with 23.82% of the votes against Le Pen’s 21.58%.
Macron was the only «moderate» candidate in the election, standing for the maintenance of affiliation with the European Union and total reformation of France’s political apparatus. The media labeled him «a Rothschild's puppet», while the politician shared his views on pressing foreign policy matters: «France cannot allow the US to dictate how to conduct foreign policy. It is necessary to have an independent and ongoing dialogue with Russia».
The second round of presidential election resulted in Emmanuel Macron receiving 66.06% of the vote and becoming President of France on May 7, 2017.
Emmanuel Macron’s personal life
Everyone in France was intrigued by the personal life of the young politician with his own political movement. A personable and charismatic man is always accompanied by his wife, Brigitte Trogneux, who could be mistaken for his mother (Brigitte is 24 years his senior).
Emmanuel fell in love with his Christian school teacher when he was only 15 years old. However, she was happily married with three children at the time. At the age of 17, the boy worked up the courage and confessed his feelings to her, promising that he would marry Brigitte one day. And he kept his promise. In 2007, the French teacher divorced her husband and married her former student.
Whatever evil tongues may say, the couple has already celebrated their tenth anniversary together. Macron has no children of his own, and it just so happened, that he became a stepfather to his peers. But he thoroughly enjoys spending time with Brigitte’s grandkids.
Macron’s rivals claim that the En Marche leader is gay. Some of his associates, for example, a philanthropist Pierre Bergé, are members of the LGBT-community. And Emmanuel himself was rumored to have an intimate relationship with a former Radio France president, Mathieu Gallet.
Emmanuel Macron today
In 2018, Forbes included Emmanuel Macron in their annual The World’s Most Powerful People List, placing him in 12th place, unlike his predecessor, François Hollande, who was put on the 23rd place.
In the summer of 2018, during Macron’s presidency, a political crisis occurred. Macron’s deputy chief of staff, Alexandre Benalla, beat up a protester during one of the May Day demonstrations. The situation eventually deteriorated and the peaceful protests turned into mass protests known as «The yellow vests movement» protests. Initially, the protesters expressed opposition to the increase of petroleum products prices and, as a consequence, the fuel prices.
All of this led to Macron imposing the state of emergency in the country. Meanwhile, the movement began gathering momentum and by the beginning of 2019, the protesters demanded the president’s resignation among other things. Protesters are supported by a number of leaders of France’s leftist, centrist and rightist parties.