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Macron Takes Office As French President

French President Emmanuel Macron (left) escorts former President Francois Hollande after the handover ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris on May 14.

Emmanuel Macron has been sworn in as the new president of France in a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

Macron also held a private meeting on May 14 with outgoing Socialist President Francois Hollande on state affairs, including the transfer of access to France's nuclear missile launch codes.

At 39, Macron is France's youngest ever president. He is a former economy minister and banker who had never held an elected post.

Macron is facing a series of daunting challenges, including tackling high unemployment, fighting Islamist-inspired violence, and uniting a deeply divided country.

"It will be slow work, demanding but indispensable," he said in a speech laying out the goals of his presidency.

He defeated far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the May 7 presidential runoff with 66 percent of the vote.

Polls have shown his new La Republique En Marche (REM) movement would finish first in the legislative elections set for June 11 and June 18, just slightly ahead of the right-wing Les Republicains and Le Pen's far-right Front Nationale.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters