Why Macron win makes me proud to be French

Connexion writer Samantha David explains why she is so very pleased with the first round election result.

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I'm so glad to be French and living in France right now!

I'm bursting with pride in my adopted country - we have just avoided an earthquake election with no fuss and no bother. Macron got 23.86% and Le Pen got 21.43% so it wasn't even a particularly close-run thing. No Frexit, no reality star politicians with peculiar hair, just a sane, well-balanced step forward, straight down the centre path.

But I'm not just proud, I'm massively upbeat. The winner of the first round is undeniably handsome, young and energetic. But that's beside the point. He's a pro-EU candidate who says he's sick of people telling him they have left France because it's so much easier to start businesses anywhere else, and that's what's got me excited!

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Too many bright young entrepreneurs from France are busy setting up companies in London or Berlin, and I've had enough of it. In a restaurant with nearly a dozen friends recently, every single parent at the table confessed to having at least one of their children working or studying abroad. Whatever anyone says, that's a brain drain - and it can't be good for France.

But I'm confident that Macron will win the second round and he really will change the economic climate for self-employed people in France.

He will make it easier to register as a micro-entrepreneur, he will lessen contributions for the self-employed, get rid of the hated RSI, increase training opportunities and funding, and make the business environment in France attractive enough to lure at least some of the thousands of expatriated young French people home to the Hexagon.

The go-ahead will come home and France will be revived by the return of its brightest and best. They will start new businesses, create new jobs, and kick-start the economy. They will bring new ideas with them, international experience and of course the satisfaction of succeeding back here in France, where for too long the grey suits have ruled over a set of cobwebby restrictive employment practices left over from the ark.

You think I'm dreaming? Over-optimistic? Perhaps I'm counting my chickens? Well wait and see! My money's on Macron for president, and I'm feeling more cheerful than I have since the disastrous Brexit vote last year.