Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Macron Rewards Loyalists in Centrist French Cabinet

Macron Rewards Loyalists in Centrist French Cabinet

French President Emmanuel Macron has gathered his newly-named government for his first Cabinet meeting - an assembly that looks significantly different than its predecessors.

Half of the appointees announced on Wednesday are men and half are women.

Macron, a 39-year-old centrist, is seeking to attract support from the rightwing Republicans party and appointed a prime minister from their ranks, Edouard Philippe, on Monday.

France's youngest ever president has already attracted dozens of Socialist MPs to his side as he seeks to create a new centrist force in French politics that will marginalise the traditional parties of left and right.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, 69, who led France's military operations overseas as former President Francois Hollande's defence minister, will stay on in Macron's government as foreign minister and also be in charge of European affairs.

Sylvie Goulard, a centrist European Union lawmaker, was named defence minister.

The crucial Economy Ministry will be run by prominent conservative Bruno Le Maire, 48, an important gesture to the right-wing Republicans party ahead of parliamentary elections next month. Nicolas Hulot, the well-known host of a television show focusing on nature and the environment, was named minister for environment transition.

He is eyeing parliamentary elections in June when he hopes his new Republique En Marche (REM) party will win a majority, giving him the freedom to enact his ambitious reform programme.

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. He also could end up with a government led by an opposition party.

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.

She has been a member of the European Parliament since 2009.

Co-president of Paris 2024 bid Tony Estanguet, front right, takes a selfie of the back row from left, International Olympic Committee Evaluation Commission Chair Patrick Baumann and new French President Emmanuel Macron, member.

Macron wants European militaries to work together more, and for eurozone countries to share a budget and tax rules. Macron has pledged to fight corruption after tax evasion and other scandals hit the previous government. He has also promised a tough line on Britain as it negotiates its departure from the EU.

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