Edouard Philippe named new French PM


Mr. Philippe's early political leanings were with the Socialist Party, but later he came to be associated with former President Jacques Chirac and former centre-right Prime Minister Alain Juppe's Union for a Popular Movement.

Philippe has taken over from his predecessor Bernard Cazeneuve.

He was a socialist in his younger days before switching his allegiances to the right.

Among names being bandied around for the top job in Macron's first government, speculation is mostly centering on Edouard Philippe.

"If the prime minister comes from the right, Emmanuel Macron will be able to attack the parliamentary elections by dynamiting the right, in the same way he has done to the left", political expert Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet told AFP.

Hulot launched a failed bid to be "Green" party candidate in France's 2012 presidential elections. Voters go to the polls again in June to elect the 577 lawmakers in the National Assembly.

If En Marche! doesn't gain enough seats, or recruit enough politicians willing to form a coalition, the body can vote out Philippe and install a new prime minister - a move that would likely eliminate any chance Macron has of enacting his agenda.

Mr Baroin is leading LR's campaign for the parliamentary elections, which will be key for his party's future as well as Mr Macron's chances of carrying out his pro-business, pro-EU policies. Philippe quit that cause when the financial scandal over fake jobs for Fillon's family hit his campaign.

Philippe has been the mayor of Le Havre, a port city in the Normandy region of northern France, since 2010 and became a member of parliament for the region two years later. He's also a member of the mainstream-right Republicans party that was badly battered by Macron's victory in the presidential campaign.

Macron, the country's youngest president, started filling out his administration Monday, announcing the appointment of Édouard Philippe as France's new prime minister. Philippe's age reinforces the generational shift in France's corridors of power and the image of youthful vigor that Macron is cultivating.

Pro-European Goulard has been a member of the European Parliament since 2009 and also worked as a political advisor to the European Commission president from 2001 to 2004. Le Drian, another Socialist, brings deep experience that could prove valuable to the untested 39-year-old president.

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One of Macron's close aides said on Sunday this was the kind of tough choice that would have to be made in Macron's inner circle now that the battle for the Elysee was won.

This item has been corrected to show the GMT time is 1230 GMT, not 1330 GMT.

It is the flip side of his commitment, shared by his Republican, PS and MoDem accomplices, to a neoliberal agenda for France and, in accord with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, across the entire EU.

That is "not practical" the source admitted, but as long as Europe is moving strongly in that direction common ground may be found.

Two things have helped him since then, Pierini said.

"The old world is back", said radical left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, adding: "Emmanuel Macron has taken control of the whole political class".

The pope cited France's "rich diversity of moral traditions and its spiritual heritage marked also by Christian traditions".

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

In a nod to German concerns, Macron said at the news conference with Merkel that he had never pushed for jointly issued eurobonds and doesn't favor European countries taking joint responsibility for old debts.

The government will be formally presented on Wednesday after Mr Macron's office delayed the announcement, initially expected on Tuesday, while authorities check the tax records and backgrounds of potential ministers, in an effort to prevent any potential conflict of interest.