New French prime minister took job because of 'unique' situation

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 19, 2017

Edouard Philippe, a 46-year-old centre-right French politician and lawyer, has been named prime minister by Emmanuel Macron, France's new president.

Reacting to Mr Philippe's appointment, Mr Juppe called the new prime minister "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job".

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

Socialist Jean-Yves Le Drian was named foreign minister and prominent centrist Francois Bayrou as justice minister.

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

The crucial Economy Ministry will be run by prominent conservative Bruno Le Maire, 48, an important gesture to the right-wing Republicans party ahead of parliamentary elections next month.

Members of civil society without government work on their resumes were appointed to some ministerial posts.

Nicolas Hulot is a prominent environmental campaigner and documentary journalist whose television series promotes environmentalism while showing off handsome landscapes.

Emmanuel Macron's support for the Paris bid is seen as symbolically important, and his decision to meet Tuesday with the visiting International Olympic Committee delegation was one of his first moves since taking office Sunday.

Alexis Kohler, Macron's new general secretary at the presidential Elysee Palace, made the announcement Wednesday.

Mr Philippe's appointment ticks several boxes for 39-year-old Mr Macron, France's youngest president, who took power on Sunday.

He supervised French military operations in Mali, Central African Republic, Iraq and Syria.

She has been a member of the European Parliament since 2009.

Macron's office will announce the government lineup Wednesday afternoon, after a delay to dig deeper into proposed ministers' tax records and potential conflicts of interest. Macron has pledged to fight corruption after tax evasion and other scandals hit the previous government.

He is close to Alain Juppe, a former prime minister who campaigned for the French presidency, but was beaten in a primary.

Macron wants European militaries to join efforts and for eurozone countries to share a budget and tax rules.

An advocate of closer European Union integration, Macron backs a "multi-speed" Europe, an idea that has earned growing support in Germany and other European Union countries since Britain voted to leave the bloc.

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