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Profile of French president-elect Emmanuel Macron
May 8th, 2017 at 9:19 pm
Profile of French president-elect Emmanuel Macron

International desk – Emmanuel Macron, the French president-elect, was thought to be either a pianist or a philosopher when he was in schools and in universities.

But he made things to happen otherwise. He becomes a politician and stormed to victory in the French presidential contest.

Times newspaper reported, when Emmanuel Macron was a teenager, his music teachers thought he would grow up to become a concert pianist.

At university, his tutor imagined him as a renowned philosopher. At the merchant bank where he later worked, senior partners assumed he would become a billionaire.

It has been the same in politics. No sooner had Macron joined the fringes of the Parisian political elite than powerful decision-makers were betting on him to attain high office.

His rise has defied all the established laws of political gravity and it is down to luck, skill, daring and his uncanny knack of charming his elders and betters.

At school “he was seen as someone who would eat with the teachers”, said Jean-Baptiste de Froment, a classmate who is now a Paris councillor.

“He had a surprising ability to talk on an equal footing with people 40 years older than him.”

This ability has served him well, and not only in helping him to find a wife — Brigitte Trogneux was a drama teacher at his sixth-form college, and 24 years his senior, when she fell for him — his slickness with his elders has also placed him at the centre of a web of influential backers who have smoothed his path towards power.

After studying at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, the civil service training college whose alumni include three French presidents and seven prime ministers, Macron got a job as secretary to a government committee on economic reform.

The committee was chaired by economist Jacques Attali and its members included business leaders who were struck by the intelligence of the well-mannered young secretary.

“We were fans,” said Pierre Nanterme, chief executive of Accenture, the global consultancy, who was on the committee.

Macron went to work at Rothschild, the investment bank, where he became known as the Mozart of finance.

“You don’t need to do Excel tables all day to be a great Rothschild banker,” de Froment said. “He understood that it was better to concentrate on the rhetorical side of things … to inspire confidence and to seduce people.”

Macron became successful in another way: he is wealthy. He accumulated substantial wealth both from his time as a banker and also from his wife’s family cake business.

His popularity at Rothschild was the result of his engaging personality, his sharp mind and the way he played up his differences — casting himself as a keen musician with a penchant for philosophical literature in a number-crunching world.

So it was at the Elysee Palace, where he became an adviser to President Francois Hollande in 2012, after his name was put forward by Attali.

Hollande was so enthralled he appointed Macron economy minister in 2014.

“Emmanuel is the son that we would all like to have,” Hollande said.

Two years later Macron launched his own political party, announced that he was running for the presidency and thus killing off Hollande’s hopes of a second term.

“He has betrayed me with method,” Hollande said, according to Times.