PARIS, May 14( Reuters) – Emmanuel Macron took power as president of France on Sunday, vowing to restore the country’s status in Europe and the world and heal divides in society — a nod to the bitternes campaign the pro-EU centrist fought to defeat a far-right leader.

The 39 -year-old former investment banker, unknown to the wider public three years ago and whose May 7 election recognized a meteoric had given rise to power, was inaugurated leader of the world’s fifth-largest economy in a solemn Elysee Palace ceremony.

In his first words after taking office, he pledged to restore France’s standing on the world stage, strengthen national self-confidence and heal divides that the bitterly-fought campaign had opened up.

Macron beat the National Front’s Marine Le Pen in a May 7 run-off referendum but the long campaign exposed deep divides over France’s role in Europe, immigration, and policies to revive a sluggish economy bedeviled by high unemployment.

” The division and fractures in national societies must be overcome. I know that the French expect much from me. Nothing will stimulate me stop protecting the higher interests of France and from working to reconcile the French ,” Macron declared.

Although his win over Le Pen was comfortable, nearly half of France’s 47 million voters chose candidates with opinions opposed to Macron’s in the first round of the election.

Many say they feel dispossessed by globalization as manufacturing jobs move abroad and as immigration and a fast-changing world blur their sense of a French identity.

A persuaded European integrationist unlike Le Pen and other leadership candidates, Macron went on:” The world and Europe necessity more than ever France, and a strong France, which speaks out loudly for freedom and solidarity .”

Seeking closer ties with EU anchor nation Germany, Macron will satisfy Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday. He will ram home the message that the European union is resilient despite Britain’s vote to leave and a slew of financial and migration emergencies that have boosted the far right.

Monday will likewise appreciate Macron name his prime minister, whose job will be to pilot liberalizing reforms aimed at reducing joblessness and recreating economic growth.

POOL New/ Reuters
French President Emmanuel Macron arrives to attend a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

YOUNGEST FRENCH POST-WAR LEADER

Macron becomes a very young post-war French leader and the first to be born after 1958, when President Charles de Gaulle put in place the country’s Fifth Republic.

In a ceremony full of pomp, he was presented with what is effectively his chain of office — a heavy golden necklace mounted on a red cushion that stimulates him Grand Master of the National Order of the Legion d’Honneur.

But Macron seemed determined to create an impression of personal propriety. Aides went out of their behavior to emphasize that the dark suit he wore cost about 450 euros or just under $500, and that the lavender attire worn by his wife Brigitte had been loaned by manner mansion Louis Vuitton.

He displayed youthful vigor during the course of its broadcasted proceedings, at one point racing up the Elysee stairs to gratify a protocol requirement — something not all previous French chairwomen might have managed.

He then chose to be driven by military jeep rather than civilian limousine to the Arc de Triomphe, where he stood in the rainfall, without coating or umbrella, to light the flame in tribute to France’s war dead at the tomb of the unknown soldier — a powerful reminder of France’s role in the NATO defense alliance.

Further underscoring a commitment to France’s military and peacekeeping role in the Countries of the middle east and Africa, he visited wounded service personnel in the military hospital. Aides have flagged a likely visit to French troops in Mali for next Friday.

Macron’s rise, recognized by a 21 -gun salute at the Esplanade des Invalides, signaled at the least a pause in the anti-globalization trend that elevated businessman Donald Trump into the U.S. presidency and produced British voters to pick Brexit.

He later shook hands with well-wishers on the Champs Elysees , not far from where a policeman was shot dead by a gunman in April.

More than 230 people have died in France in strikes claimed by Islamic State over the past two years as the country has taken part in military action against the militant group that controls parts of Syria and Iraq.

Fifteen hundred police were mobilized to ensure security for Macron’s inauguration while a large part of Paris was closed to traffic all morning.

Chesnot via Getty Images
Newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Trogneux pose on the steps of the Elysee Palace after the handover ceremony with France’s outgoing President Francois Hollande.

NUCLEAR CODES

Macron presumed power after an hour-long private meeting with outgoing President Francois Hollande, 62, in which official access to France’s nuclear missile launching codes was handed over.

Macron, once Hollande’s economy minister, then accompanied his former mentor down the red carpet to a waiting car.

He must now try to win a majority in June parliamentary elections for his start-up Republic on the Move( REM) party, which has blown apart traditional French political boundaries.

But Macron may struggle to get the country behind him.

In the first round of voting, more than 45 percent picked Le Pen or other an applicant who promised different drug, such as concluding the wealth gap by rolling back globalization, shutting margins and repudiating the EU.

The business-friendly labor reforms in Macron’s program follow on from policies that helped stimulate Hollande the least popular French president in modern history and killed his chances of a second word by failing to ease unemployment.

( Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain, Marine Pennetier, Ingrid Melander, Elizabeth Pineau and John Irish; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Catherine Evans )

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