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What Macron's victory means for the French-Los Angeles economy




PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 07:  Leader of 'En Marche !' Emmanuel Macron acknowledges supporters after winning the French Presidential Election, at The Louvre on May 7, 2017 in Paris, France. Pro-EU centrist Macron is the next president of France after defeating far right rival Marine Le Pen by a comfortable margin, estimates indicate.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 07: Leader of 'En Marche !' Emmanuel Macron acknowledges supporters after winning the French Presidential Election, at The Louvre on May 7, 2017 in Paris, France. Pro-EU centrist Macron is the next president of France after defeating far right rival Marine Le Pen by a comfortable margin, estimates indicate. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

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The votes are in for the next president of France. 

Emmanuel Macron's victory Sunday brought a sigh of relief, not just among the French but to many around the world.

Among those pleased with the outcome is French expat Patricia Gaillot. She's been living in the U.S. for five years, and thinks most French voters living in the U.S. overwhelmingly voted for Macron.

"To be totally honest, I think that the French people mostly voted against Marine Le Pen and not maybe for Emmanuel Macron," said Gaillot. "But I think that we are all OK now to be reunited and to try to follow him and to support him."
 
But for voice actor and tour guide Sylvain Willaume, the path to unity isn't as straightforward. He thinks Macron is in a fragile position. Much like the latter years of the Obama administration, Macron doesn't have a legislative majority to support him. Willaume echoed worries that Macron's presidency will bring more of the same.

"I am also concerned that Macron will choose some of the same members of the previous government, which would just be an extension of the old government," he said. 

All opinions aside, Macron's election has, at least for the moment, put an end to fears that the European Union might collapse. Marine Le Pen had vowed to pull France from the E.U. And a withdrawal from France would have almost certainly jeopardized the survival of the 60-year-old European alliance.

A Le Pen presidency could have also made things more difficult for French citizens doing business abroad in places like L.A.

Take Two's A Martinez spoke with Samuel Loy,  president of the Los Angeles French American Chamber of Commerce.

Interview highlights

What a Macron victory means:

I think it sends a strong signal that the French population is still not accepting her [Le Pen's] program as a whole. We still have a population that is disenfranchised in France that feels like the economy is not working for them. But as a whole, I think that people realize that this was not necessarily the way to go. Hopefully Macron will be able to bridge the gap – the large wealth gap – that's been created in France over the past few years. 

We help French investors and French companies get sell ... and do business in the U.S. You have to understand what a Le Pen victory would have meant for those people. And also for U.S. companies and foreign companies as a whole trying to do business in France. 

From a business perspective:

From a business perspective, she's very much to the left. She's for more government control. She's for higher regulations. She even talked about government control over individual assets at one point. Clearly, that means if you're a French investor or individual and you want to invest some money on the real estate market or anything else in Los Angeles, well, the French government has a say whether or not your funds will leave your bank account. And that's what we avoided. 

Looking ahead: 

The French economy has been very stagnant for the past few years, whether you're doing business in California or in France. Because of his past as a banker and someone who does not have much political experience, we are hopeful that he will be able to break this status quo that has been in place... And that his policies will ultimately help the economy grow again in France. 

*Quotes edited for clarity*

To listen to the interview with Samuel Loy, click on the blue Media Player above.