Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Emmanuel Macron's cabinet: Half of France's ministers are women

Emmanuel Macron's cabinet: Half of France's ministers are women

Paris: France's newly inaugurated president Emmanuel Macron has unveiled his cabinet, with women filling half of the 22 positions, media reports said.

Macron, a centrist who had served in governments led both by Socialists and Republicans before his election on May 7 on an independent ticket, appointed on Wednesday as his foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, a former defense minister under the previous president, Francois Hollande of the Socialist Party.

New French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb arrives for the first weekly cabinet meeting under new French President Emmanuel Macron, Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

Sylvie Goulard takes defence, Muriel Penicaud becomes Labour Minister and Agnes Buzyn is Health Minister.

France's youngest ever president wants to create a new centrist force in French politics - at the expense of the traditional Socialist and Republicans parties - which will be put to the test in parliamentary elections next month. High profile rightwinger Bruno Le Maire was named economy minister - one of three conservatives in the Cabinet.

The Prime Minister, who heads the government on the direction of the President, must, by law, have the support of a majority in Parliament. Olympic fencing champion Laura Flessel became the Sports Minister.

The Republican Party, sent out a statement calling the cabinet "confusing".

One accused Macron of "blowing up" the political landscape.

The announcement of the government was delayed by 24-hours on Tuesday, officially due to the need to carry out more extensive screening of candidates, but which might also have been down to last-minute negotiations.

Macron said he was "counting on President Tusk and his leadership to take the work of reforming (the EU) further", adding: "Europe needs your energy and your imagination".

In the presidential election's first round, Mr Macron had his lowest score of any electorate in New Caledonia, but in the run-off round against Marine Le Pen he narrowly beat her.

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.

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