Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Macron blurs party lines with mixed French cabinet, gender parity

Macron blurs party lines with mixed French cabinet, gender parity

Macron and his centre-right prime minister Edouard Philippe faced a tricky balancing act in choosing their first government, with 39-year-old Macron needing to keep his allies happy while opening up positions to Philippe's rightwing Republicans party.

Having backed Macron early, Le Drian takes over the foreign affairs portfolio after holding the defence post for five years under Hollande.

As interior minister, he picked Gerard Collomb, the mayor of Lyon who was one of the first Socialists to be a vocal supporter of Macron.

The 69-year-old Jean-Yves Le Drian is a close friend of former Socialist President Francois Hollande, a rare popular minister in Hollande's deeply unpopular government and an experienced political heavyweight by the standards of some of his new ministerial colleagues.

Among the 18 ministers, four are affiliated with the left, two belong to the right, two are part of the centrist movement Modem, two other ministers come from Macron's political movement and there's one member from the Green party.

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

The youngest person selected to work in Macron's government was Mounir Mahjoubi, 33, who was named junior minister for digital economy.

Ms Kosciusko-Morizet was among more than 170 conservatives who agreed to "seize the outstretched hand" of Mr Macron and support his proclaimed political project of bridging the divide between left and right long entrenched in French politics. He was the first major Socialist politician to decide to back Macron's presidential bid.

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Gerard Collomb (Je-RAR Koll-OMB), a 69-year-old Socialist, was appointed interior minister.

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.

Keeping him in government should also ensure continuity in negotiations now underway.

After a delay to dig deeper into proposed ministers' tax records and potential conflicts of interest, Macron's office announced his government.

France's former defense minister has been named as foreign minister and centrist politician Sylvie Goulard (Goo-LARR) defense minister in French President Emmanuel Macron's first government.

In his busy first week, Macron was also set to meet EU Council President Donald Tusk in Paris on Wednesday as he tackles his top foreign priority of reforming the European Union.

In 2014, Le Drian wrote in a statement that France "condemns" the firing of rockets into Israel "but requests that Israel" minimize any harm to civilians in its attacks on Hamas. One diplomat said the changes in president and ministers would enable a review of Paris' positioning on key issues such as the crises in Syria and Libya. Hulot has been touted as a minister in every government over recent years so it is somewhat of a coup for Macron to persuade him to join his cabinet.

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