Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

French President, Emmanuel Macron names Edouarde Philippe as prime minister

French President, Emmanuel Macron names Edouarde Philippe as prime minister

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.

Mrs Merkel called Mr Macron's visit an honour and a sign of the deep friendship between the two European powerhouses.

"We each represent the interests of our own countries, but the interests of Germany are naturally closely tied to the interests of France", Mrs Merkel said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the election of new French President Emmanuel Macron offers an opportunity to bring new dynamism to Europe.

The pair said they are both prepared even to implement treaty changes if needed.

"First we need to work on what we want to change, and then if it turns out it needs a treaty change, then we're prepared to do that", she said.

A large group of onlookers, some carrying European flags, stood outside the chancellery as Macron arrived.

But with Germany's economy, Europe's largest, outperforming that of France, the traditional Franco-German motor at the heart of the European Union has begun to misfire.

Macron, for his part, reassured Germany that he wouldn't revive the idea of jointly issued eurobonds, which divided Europe at the height of the eurozone debt crisis.

Philippe's age reinforced the generational shift in France's corridors of power and the image of youthful vigor that Macron is cultivating. It would also make good on Macron's campaign promises to repopulate French politics with new faces.

Philippe is a close associate of former prime minister Alain Juppe, who leads LR's moderate wing, and his mentor was more positive.

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

Emmanuel Macron's support for the Paris bid is seen as symbolically important, and his decision to meet Tuesday with the visiting International Olympic Committee delegation was one of his first moves since taking office Sunday.

Macron's staff had initially said the government would be named late Tuesday but the presidential palace now says in a statement the announcement will come Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Philippe and Mr Macron chose experienced politicians from the left, the centre and the right for the main positions.

But not everyone was pleased with Philippe's announcement.

The populist Le Pen said her National Front party is now the only "true opposition" for June legislative elections. Melenchon urged them not to give Macron a parliamentary majority. "He then supports Michel Rocard - just like Emmanuel Macron who took him as a model - before coming closer to the right two years later".

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".

Merkel and Macron want to kick-start ties with an alliance some German media have dubbed "Merkron", stressing that the European Union is resilient despite Britain's vote to leave and a spate of financial and migration crises that have boosted the far-right across the bloc.

Germany's Foreign Ministry said it's drafting a paper outlining renewed Franco-German push on security, investment and cooperation in the 19-member euro area, ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said.

He is also slated to travel to Germany later on Monday to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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