Macron presides over the ruins

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The strategy that Emmanuel Macron deployed for five years has paid handsome dividends electorally, as shown by his win over Marine Le Pen with around 58% of the vote. But in democratic terms that strategy has produced nothing but failure. As Ellen Salvi reports in the aftermath of the president's re-election, the country's divisions have never been so deep.

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Emmanuel Macron arrived at the Champ-de-Mars in central Paris on Sunday evening to the sound of Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy', music which had also greeted him at the courtyard of the Louvre on the evening of his victory in 2017. But this time the president, who had just been re-elected with around 58% of the vote against Marine Le Pen, chose not to enter alone as he did five years ago. Instead he walked hand-in-hand with his wife Brigitte, surrounded by young people. It was a scene that had been carefully choreographed to underline his promise of a “reformed approach … to serve our country and our young people”.