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Emmanuel Macron's victory over Marine Le Pen was much-needed good news for anyone who favors open, liberal democratic societies over their nativist, xenophobic counterparts.If Macron fails during the next five years, Le Pen will be back with a vengeance, and nativist populists will gain strength in Europe and elsewhere.As a candidate, Macron was helped in this age of anti-establishment politics by the fact that he stood outside traditional political parties. Macron's economic ideas resist easy characterization. The French economist Thomas Piketty, who supported the socialist candidate Benoit Hamon, described Macron as representing "yesterday's Europe".Many of Macron's economic plans do indeed have a neoliberal flavor. Macron's more ambitious idea is to take a big leap toward a eurozone fiscal union, with a common Treasury and a single finance minister.The success of Macron's presidency thus depends to a large extent on European cooperation.France may not be in the European periphery, but Macron's message to Germany is clear: Either you help me out and we build a true union – economic, fiscal, and eventually political – or we will be run over by the extremist onslaught.
Democracy on a knife-edge across the world
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