Macron Rewards Loyalists in Centrist French Cabinet

Postado Mai 19, 2017

France's new Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was a respected defence minister in the outgoing Socialist government, praised for his pragmatism and the flurry of orders he chalked up for the arms industry.

The Kremlin said the French and Russian leaders have discussed possible co-operation on global issues, including the fight against terrorism.

Another centrist, Sylvie Goulard will lead the Defence Ministry, while Socialist Gerard Collomb will head the Interior Ministry. Alain Juppe, a former prime minister, called Philippe "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job".

Rachline pointed out that Macron's decision to name Philippe as the prime minister was an attempt to undermine the LR rows, which was part of a broader goal of dismantling French traditional left- and right-wing political forces.

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It is the first time in modern French political history that a president has appointed a prime minister from outside his camp without being forced to by a defeat in parliamentary elections.

Olympic fencing champion Laura Flessel was named sports minister, star environmentalist Nicolas Hulot - who had spurned multiple offers of cabinet roles from previous presidents - accepted the ecology brief and crusading publisher Francoise Nyssen took charge of culture.

Macron's trip to Berlin highlighted his pro-European politics and desire to work with Merkel on what he says must become "a more efficient Europe, a more democratic Europe, a more political Europe".

Philippe began his political life as a Socialist activist affiliated to former prime minister Michel Rocard while he was a student, before turning to the right.

Macron is looking to the June elections to give him and his own start-up Republic on the Move (REM) party the majority in parliament needed to push through his plans to cut state spending, boost investment and create jobs, after years of economic malaise.

The announcement of the government was delayed by 24-hours on Tuesday, officially due to the need to carry out more extensive screening of candidates, but which might also have been down to last-minute negotiations.

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.

Mr Macron, 39, had promised to include people from civil society in his government.

Under a tradition dating back to the 15th Century, French leaders automatically gain the title of "First and only honorary canon of St John Lateran", the cathedral church of Rome.

Goulard previously worked as an adviser to Romano Prodi when Prodi served as president of the European Commission - the executive arm of the EU.

Among the conservatives said to be in the running are Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Bruno Le Maire and Thierry Breton.