Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

France's Macron names Republican Philippe as PM

Ellis Copeland | 17 May, 2017, 14:17

Merkel suggested last week that Germany's labor-market overhaul under her predecessor, Social Democrat Gerhard Schroeder, could hold lessons for France.

"And the election of the new French president offers us here the possibility to bring dynamism into the development of Europe", she added.

The pair now at the centre of the European project vowed to give it new impetus, saying they were ready to change treaties if necessary. "We need more trust, much more trust and more specifically, results".

It is virtually a rite of passage for French leaders to make their first European trip to meet the leader of the other half of the so-called "motor" of the EU.

"I told myself that the situation we were in was so unique that we should try something that had never been tried before", Philippe said on TF1 television later on Monday.

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.

A leading French conservative accused President Emmanuel Macron of "dynamiting" the political landscape on Tuesday as he put together a government that is expected to include former rivals on both left and right.

Mr Philippe, 46, is the mayor of Le Havre and a close associate of Alain Juppe, a prominent conservative who was touted to replace Francois Fillon as presidential candidate for the Republicans.

This is the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic that a President has appointed someone from outside his own party without being explicitly required to do so by a parliamentary vote. He is a member of the Republicans, a mainstream-right party whose candidate Macron beat in the first round of the election. He is a close ally of Alain Juppé, the former prime minister who ran unsuccessfully in the center-right presidential primary a year ago.

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One of Macron's most controversial ideas is a shared budget for the countries that use the euro currency.

New Prime Minister Philippe will take over from the current Socialist PM, Bernard Cazeneuve, who backed equal marriage.

According to Devecchio, Philippe's appointment would allow the right to rethink and readjust their policies in the long term, however, this decision might cost Macron some of his left-wing supporters.

The nomination is a direct challenge to The Republicans, 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.

But not everyone was pleased with Philippe's announcement. "We regret it", LR said in a statement. Macron's party needs to win a majority in the June vote to have the mandate to push his legislative agenda through the French parliament.

"The right has just been annexed, with a prime minister taken from its ranks, from the Republicans", Melenchon said.

On Sunday, Macron said: "We will need a more efficient Europe, a more democratic Europe, a more political Europe because it's the instrument of our power and our sovereignty, I will work on that".

Germany is looking to Macron to revitalize France as an economic power and political heavyweight in the European Union, which is facing complex divorce proceedings with its current No. 2 economy, Britain.

Macron will push a firm European Union line with Britain in its negotiations to leave the bloc, in part to deter other members from trying to leave.

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