Cautious relief in Europe as French vote keeps far right from power

France's allies in Europe expressed relief after the far-right National Rally failed to win snap parliamentary elections – but with no other group winning a majority and protracted uncertainty looming, the celebrations were measured.

After a first round of voting one week ago, the National Rally (RN) had been favourite to top the polls, threatening to upend economic and foreign policy in the euro zone's second-largest economy.

In the end, other parties joined forces to block it in the second round on Sunday and the RN was left in third place behind alliances of the left and centre.

Left leads in French parliamentary vote, Macron's party second, National Rally third

Progressive leaders across Europe congratulated the left-wing coalition, the New Popular Front (NFP), on taking the lead just a few weeks after it was formed.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez declared that France, like Spain, had said "yes to progress and social advancement and no to regression in rights and freedoms".

Nikos Androulakis, the head of Greece's Socialist party, said the French public had "raised a wall against the far right, racism and intolerance and guarded the timeless principles of the French Republic: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity."

Relief for Ukraine

(with Reuters)

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