French president's Cabinet mixes old and new, left and right


On Monday, the Young president named Edouard Philippe, who was conservative lawmaker from the Republicans party, as his prime minister.

Socialist party stalwart and veteran of François Hollande's government Jean-Yves Le Drian remains in the government but moves over from defence minister to Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Bruno Le Maire, a German-speaking pro-European from the center-right Republicans party, was appointed finance minister.

During the election, Mr Macron said it would be "unacceptable" if women did not have parity in the French government.

A star environmentalist Nicolas Hulot, was put in charge of ecology, and a publisher became culture minister - just some of the political newcomers Macron had promised to bring into his team.

French right wing politicians reacted angrily today after new president Emmanuel Macron named 11 women in a politically and gender-balanced cabinet.

Annick Girardin, another surviving member of Hollande's government, has been named minister of overseas territories and former Olympic fencing champion Laura Flessel from Guadaloupe is another member of civic society drafted into the government.

Macron, who ran a pro-European election campaign, kept with tradition by visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday (15 May) in his first trip overseas after taking office.

Newly-appointed French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (R) is greeted by his predecessor Bernard Cazeneuve (L) during a handover ceremony at the Hotel Matignon, in Paris, France, May 15, 2017.

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Mr Macron, who won the May 7 run-off on promises of cleaning up the corruption and stagnation marking traditional parties, said he will require ministers to sign a commitment to "integrity and morality".

Tusk approved the guidelines proposed by Macron and said "words such as security, protection, dignity and pride must return to our political dictionary".

His victory has divided both the Socialists and the Republicans.

Some could be replaced after next month's parliamentary election, depending on how many seats Macron's fledgling Republique En Marche (REM) party wins.

In Le Drian's five years in defence, French troops intervened against jihadists in west Africa and in the war-torn Central African Republic, French jets joined in air strikes against the Islamic State group and troops began patrolling France's streets to try to ard off jihadist attacks.

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.

After years of strained relations between the countries, Macron wants to reset the partnership with Germany to fight the populist tide that he says will return stronger if the economy doesn't improve.

"This shows Europe is the priority", a French diplomatic source said of the rare inclusion of Europe in the foreign ministry portfolio, although also sounding a warning note on his suitability for the role.