Edouard Philippe named new French PM

Alicia Guzman
May 16, 2017

Last week, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert had said on the subject of euro bonds: "I can tell you that the federal government's dismissive attitude toward euro bonds remains valid", when asked if Germany would back Macron should he push for the creation of such financial instruments.

This undated handout picture provided Monday, May, 15, 2017, by Le Havre city hall shows Le Havre mayor, Edouard Phillippe.

One of Mr Macron's aides welcomed the appointment as "a good move", telling AFP it would help the president "break the right".

He said: "This is an individual decision".

He is meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin and possibly unveiling his choice of prime minister.

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Former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe and outgoing Interior Minister Matthias Fekl wished Philippe luck, the letter stressing that he wished Philippe to succeed despite their political differences.

Philippe, the mayor of the Normandy port of Le Havre, is a trained lawyer and an author of political thrillers.

His visit to Germany is expected to be cordial as Macron has strong pro-EU views, officials said.

The party was due on Monday to present its list of candidates for parliamentary elections that take place in two rounds on June 11 and 18.

Macron needs a majority or at least enough seats in parliament to govern or form a coalition. His appointment marks a milestone in the rebuilding of France's political landscape, which has been dynamited by the election of Macron - the first president of modern France not from the country's mainstream left or right parties.

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Mr. Macron was elected on a platform that promised reforms to labour and social security laws, training for workers, and relaunching the European Union. It is traditional for French leaders to make Berlin their first European stop.

In Berlin on Monday, the fervently pro-Europe Macron will push for deeper ties in the 28-member European Union to help the bloc overcome the imminent departure of Britain.

But the Frenchman s calls for the eurozone to have its own budget have received a cool response from Germany, which fears it would be forced to pay the lion s share.

To stem the refugee flow, he argues for a political solution to the Syrian crisis and more efforts to stabilize Libya and other countries in the region over the long term.

Success in the parliamentary elections is vital to his chances of pushing through his plans to cut state spending, boost investment and create jobs, after years of economic malaise and high unemployment.

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Hollande's five years in power were plagued by a sluggish economy and a string of terror attacks that killed more than 230 people.

Other reports by Info About Network

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