Emmanuel Macron Names Edouard Philippe as French Prime Minister

Emmanuel Macron Names Edouard Philippe as French Prime Minister

Emmanuel Macron Names Edouard Philippe as French Prime Minister

He is married, has three children and speaks German, which could come in handy as Macron seeks to persuade Berlin to join his ambitious efforts to "reform and relaunch" the European Union.

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And both count well-connected political advisor and writer Jacques Attali as well as late Socialist prime minister Michel Rocard as influences during their ascent through French political life.

She said the two talked about the European asylum system, trade relations and other issues. "We're convinced we'll find a way to make progress with Germany".

Shortly after Philippe's appointment, Macron was scheduled to travel to Berlin on his first foreign trip as French leader. He is Merkel's fourth French president in almost 12 years as German leader.

Olivier Ihl, an academic from the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies, said the visit was "an important moment because he wants to relaunch Franco-German cooperation in a Europe that is on its knees".

Former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe and outgoing Interior Minister Matthias Fekl wished Philippe luck, the letter stressing that he wished Philippe to succeed despite their political differences.

Philippe's nomination is a direct challenge to The Republicans (LR), who say they aim to be the biggest party in the lower house of parliament but are lagging behind REM in the first opinion polls ahead of that ballot.

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Philippe has taken over from his predecessor Bernard Cazeneuve. "Don't give full powers to Mr. Macron and his prime minister".

French far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, who won almost 20 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election, also reacted with hostility.

Macron needs a parliamentary majority to push through his ambitious plans to loosen France s strict labour laws, boost entrepreneurship and reduce class sizes in tough neighbourhoods. Juppe welcomed the move, wishing him good luck and telling reporters Philippe has "all the qualities needed for this hard job". He accompanied Juppe in the creation of the UMP party (now The Republicans) and served as the party's director of services until 2004. Philippe quit that cause when the financial scandal over fake jobs for Fillon's family hit his campaign.

Mayor of Le Havre, his home town, since 2010, the German-speaking father of three, who writes crime novels in his spare time, was elected to parliament in 2012.

Having already split the Socialist Party with his run for the presidency, Macron's act of luring one of the leading young lights of the centrist wing of the Republicans now threatens to splinter that party as well.

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

The prime minister's age reinforces the generational shift in France's corridors of power and the image of youthful vigor that Macron is cultivating.

By appointing Mr Philippe, Mr Macron passed over some loyal followers including Richard Ferrand, a former Socialist who was one of the first to join Mr Macron's cause a year ago and is secretary-general of REM.

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