Emmanuel Macron has been sworn in for his second term as France’s president at a ceremony at the Elysee Palace, followed by the firing of canons at the Invalides Gardens.

Iran PressEurope: In a country where presidents rarely get re-elected, Macron won 58.5 percent of the votes in the second round in April against the far-right’s Marine Le Pen, despite strong opposition to his pro-business policies and a proposal to raise the retirement age.

In a short speech on Saturday, he spoke of the need to innovate at a time of unprecedented challenges for the world and for France, and said his second term would be “new” and not merely a continuation of the first.

Among the 500 guests present were former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, former prime ministers Edouard Philippe, Manuel Valls, Alain Juppe and Jean-Pierre Raffarin, as well as religious leaders and other state figures.

Macron faces a daunting agenda of implementing the reforms he promised when he came to power as France’s youngest-ever president in 2017, as well as dealing with the Russian war in Ukraine.

He is also indicating a more inclusive and understanding style of ruling after his first term saw critics complain the former investment banker had abrasive and arrogant methods.

Macron will visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg for “Europe Day” on Monday.

Later in the week, for the first trip abroad since his inauguration, he heads to Berlin to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Macron, 44, is the first president who does not belong to a coalition government to be re-elected since the formation of the Fifth Republic in 1958.

Macron’s new term formally begins on the evening of May 13. He is expected to name a new premier in place of incumbent Jean Castex to lead a revamped government.


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