Macron pick for French premier about to be named

Claudine Rigal
Mai 19, 2017

She takes over from Jean-Yves Le Drian, outgoing Socialist Defence Minister and a close friend of ex-President Francois Hollande, who was named Minister of "Europe and foreign affairs" in a new title underlining the importance of Europe for Macron. Including the "thank you" at the end, the announcement of Philippe's appointment, delivered by the presidency's new secretary general, took just eight seconds.

On his first full day in office, France's freshly inaugurated President Emmanuel Macron is expected to move quickly Monday on fronts foreign and domestic, meeting in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel and possibly unveiling his choice of prime minister.

It's a delicate balancing act, as Macron tries to redesign French politics by borrowing ministers from left and right and new faces.

Another centrist, Sylvie Goulard (Goo-LARR), will lead the Defense Ministry, while Socialist Gerard Collomb will head the Interior Ministry.

Macron picked Bruno Le Maire a pro-European, German-speaking right-winger from The Republicans, as his Economy Minister.

French President Emmanuel Macron's office is delaying the announcement of the new government while authorities check the tax records and backgrounds of potential ministers.

Nicolas Hulot, a highly-popular former wildlife documentary TV presenter, seen as the Gallic David Attenborough, was named Environment Minister.

Before Macron's rise, Francois Bayrou was France's most well-known centrist politician and a three-time failed presidential candidate. One of them, the party leader's niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, a rising star representing the party's conservative flank in the south, announced last week that she was leaving politics, at least temporarily. The 48-year-old served as agriculture minister from 2009 to 2012 under former President Nicolas Sarkozy.

France's new president has said he wants a mix of experience and new blood - a balance he has attempted to achieve in his slate of candidates for the June 11-18 election.

Macron hosted European Council President Donald Tusk at the Elysee Palace for a private dinner on Wednesday night, a sign of his determination to shore up European unity.

She also worked as a political adviser to Italian politician Romano Prodi when he was president of the European Commission from 2001 to 2004. He remains one of the longest-running mayors in France, but has never held a top government post.

This item has been corrected to show that Goulard is 52 years old, not 59.

French p resident Emmanuel Macron has gathered his Cabinet for its first meeting - an assembly which looks significantly different to its predecessors.

Macron has pledged to fight corruption after tax evasion and other scandals hit the previous government.

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