Macron names Edouard Philippe as French PM

Posted May 16, 2017

France's new President Emmanuel Macron appointed Edouard Philippe on Monday as prime minister, announced Alexis Kohler, the president's secretary-general.

"This appointment is in some way a flawless blend of the two preceding five-year terms: a prime minister [of the Republicans] to support the French president who is a spiritual son of [Socialist former President] Francois Hollande and who recycles within his En Marche! movement the endangered species of the Socialist Party", Le Pen wrote.

Trained as a lawyer, Mr. Philippe has worked in the private sector, including for French nuclear giant Areva and an American law firm.

French newly elected President Emmanuel Macron (R) poses with his wife Brigitte Trogneux at the Elysee presidential Palace after the handover and prior to the inauguration ceremony on May 14, 2017 in Paris.

Le Pen had her own take on the Philippe appointment, saying that it will mean the same narrative that has dominated France over decades.

Philippe could also attract other Republicans to Macron's cause as the centrist president works to piece together a majority in parliament to pass promised economic reforms.

Macron traveled to Berlin a day after being sworn in, continuing a tradition of French presidents making their first foreign trip to Germany.

But Macron notably wants more support from other European Union countries for French military operations against Islamic extremists in Syria, Iraq and Africa's Sahel region.

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Despite her crushing defeat to Macron, Le Pen is counting on her record high voter count — more than 10.6 million — to propel her party into parliament, as well as bidding to take in "electoral orphans" unsatisfied by Macron and feeling betrayed by the mainstream right, Bay said.

Mr Philippe served as Mr Juppe's campaign spokesman during the Republicans party primary.

Philippe, like Macron, attended the elite ENA school, and his political hero is Rocard - another point in common with the 39 year-old new president.

In comments to reporters ahead of her meeting with Macron, and following Sunday's confidence-boosting victory for her conservative Christian Democrats in a state election, German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized cooperation.

The visit signaled his intentions to move rapidly on campaign promises to revive support for the beleaguered European Union by reforming and strengthening it.

Selecting Philippe as prime minister is seen as a way to bring in more support from the center-right, which Macron will need to push through his proposed economic reforms, according to the BBC.

Analysts say his appointment could convince other Republicans to support Mr Macron, who is looking to secure a working majority in crucial parliamentary elections next month.