Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Countries throughout Europe welcomed celebrated New Year's Eve with firework celebrations on Monday night.
French President Emmanuel Macron promised to keep order "without complacency" in 2019 during a New Year's Eve address in which he condemned extreme elements who sought to speak "in the name of the people" without referring directly to the so-called "yellow vest" protests.
"In fact they are only the spokespeople of a hate-filled mob and they target elected politicians, the security forces, journalists, Jews, foreigners and homosexuals," Macron said. "It is quite simply the negation of France."
Celebrations in Paris also persisted amid the ongoing anti-government protests, as people gathered on the Champs-Elysees for a fireworks show. A light show was also held above the Arc de Triomphe monument.
In Berlin, some attended an open-air concert at the Brandenburg Gate with fireworks set off at the start of the new year.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for "global solutions" for issues such as climate change, migration and terrorism.
"We will only master the challenges of our times if we stick together and collaborate with others across borders," she said.
Britain celebrated the new year as Big Ben rang at midnight for Londoners despite being disconnected as it is undergoing renovations.
The celebration was accompanied by the words "London is open" spoken in seven languages as part of a fireworks display.
Samoa staked its claim as the first country to celebrate 2019 early Monday, as island countries just west of the International Date Line got a jump on the rest of the world.
Samoa, which shared the "first" status with Kiritimati, shared a video of its fireworks celebration on Facebook.
"This government initiative is a special commemoration marking Samoa as the first country to welcome the New Year," the post's caption said. "The fireworks display will be an ongoing annual celebration to [bring] in the new year and for all to witness and enjoy from now on."
Some in Kiritimati could take a one-hour flight east to American Samoa across the International Date Line and celebrate the new year again later Monday, as it will be one of the last in the world to welcome 2019.
Auckland, New Zealand, rang in 2019 an hour after Samoa and went to social media to show off its fireworks celebration.
Parts of Russia celebrated the start of 2019, followed by eastern Australia. Thousands who waited in Sydney were drenched by heavy rains and thunderstorms hours before midnight, forcing the cancellation of an aerial flyby. Australia's largest city was two hours behind Auckland to enter 2019 at 8 a.m. EST.
More than a million people gathered around Sydney Harbor to join in New Year's celebrations despite the rain and 2 billion watched on television.
Japan, North and South Korea, China and the Philippines followed as the next major nations to enter the new year.