French president names mix of faces to left-right government

Xavier Trudeau
Mai 20, 2017

"In the past, the subject of treaty change was a French taboo".

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, whom President Macron named on Monday, will lead the government, at least until the parliamentary elections scheduled for June.

"We each represent the interests of our own countries, but the interests of Germany are naturally closely tied to the interests of France", Mrs Merkel said.

France's newly appointed interior minister, Gerard Collomb, says his first duties will be to protect the French people, to fight terrorism and to prevent some youth in the country from falling "in the grip" of the Islamic State group.

Mr Macron said that he would work with Mrs Merkel on a "road map", and that they needed to work on "deep reforms that are necessary and need common work".

At 39, he becomes the youngest president in France's history and the youngest leader since Napoleon.

A German diplomat told Reuters Germany must decide whether it wants to continue its single-minded focus on budget rigour or work with Macron on joint ideas for Europe's future. The idea has been met with skepticism by some in Germany, Europe's strongest economy, which has faced the biggest share of bailouts for weaker eurozone members.

"We need more pragmatism, less bureaucracy and a Europe that protects our citizens".

Amid deep-seated suspicions that Mr Trump would have preferred Mr Macron's far-right rival Marine Le Pen to emerge victorious from last week's election, senior USA administration officials told AFP that Mr Trump will meet Mr Macron on 25 May in Brussels and "compare perspectives". He is a member of the Republicans, a mainstream-right party whose candidate Macron beat in the first round of the election.

The mayor of Le Havre since 2010, Philippe previously worked as a director of public affairs for French nuclear group Areva from 2007 to 2010 and as a lawyer from 2004 to 2007 with New York City-based worldwide law firm Debevoise and Plimpton LLP.

Facing up various questions, Philippe stated that 'I strongly believe in the legitimacy of these parties, but our nation is top priority.' The new French president took power yesterday and announced the decision to appoint Edouard Philippe as his prime minister.

Germany is looking to Macron to revitalize France as an economic power and political heavyweight in the European Union, which is facing complex divorce proceedings with its current No. 2 economy, Britain. As Macron's campaign digital chief, Mahjoubi was responsible for cybersecurity.

The election of Emmanuel Macron as French president opens up the possibility of generating more dynamism in the European project, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said ahead of a meeting with Macron later on Monday. He has also promised a tough line on Britain as it negotiates its departure from the European Union, to deter others from trying to leave after debt and migration crises that have eroded public support for the bloc.

Merkel has praised Macron's embrace of European unity but has offered few concrete details of the way forward for German-French relations.

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