France's Macron Unveils Government with Mix of Political Hues

Posted May 23, 2017

French president Emmanuel Macron has gathered his Cabinet for its first meeting - an assembly which looks significantly different to its predecessors.

Alexis Kohler, Macron's new general secretary at the presidential Elysee Palace, made the announcement Wednesday.

PARIS French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday he would begin working immediately with European Council President Donald Tusk on the overhaul of the bloc, which needed a new and ambitious policy.

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.

Current Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is expected to be the only survivor from the government of Francois Hollande, who left office last weekend after an unpopular five-year term.

Other appointments included Francois Bayrou, the head of the centrist Modem party, as justice minister and Marielle de Sarnez as junior Europe minister.

Speaking with Tusk by his side, Macron said he's advocating "a less bureaucratic and a more political Europe" and relying on Tusk to "go even further in this work of re-shaping and setting in motion again a European ambition".

The mix of center-left and center-right ministers underlines Macron's need to transcend the traditional French political divide.

China 'crippled Central Intelligence Agency by killing informants'
Apuzzo continued: "For many years China and the USA have been locked in this spy battle that's been going on behind the scenes". Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources.

A minister for agriculture under ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, Le Maire made a failed bid for the Republicans presidential nomination previous year when he finished a disappointing fifth.

"We have to deliver, put aside those little politicians' quarrels, those sectarian divisions, which lead us nowhere. making space for debate, for rapid and constructive decisions", Le Maire said as he took over his job.

The television star and environmentalist Nicolas Hulot appointed as ecology minister.

Gerard Collomb, the Socialist mayor of Lyon, France's third-biggest city, makes his debut in national government at the age of 69.

Another conservative Gerald Darmanin, was appointed budget minister.

A former university history teacher, Le Drian has spent 35 years in politics and is president of the Brittany region. 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. She started her professional career at the French Foreign Affairs Ministry, where she was a member of the team that negotiated the consequences of Germany's reunification in 1989-1990.

Goulard previously worked as an adviser to Romano Prodi when Prodi served as president of the European Commission - the executive arm of the EU. Outgoing French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault escorts Jean-Yves Le Drian, right, who was named as Foreign Minister and Minister for Europe, before the handover ceremony in Paris, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

The 52-year-old German-speaker is a prominent pro-Europe politician and was elected a member of the European parliament in 2009.