France's Macron Unveils Government with Mix of Political Hues

Le Drian has been named Wednesday May 17, 2017 Foreign Minister in French President President Emmanuel Macron's first cabinet.

Long time ally Gérard Collomb, the former socialist mayor of Lyon, has been appointed interior minister. Her father survived the Holocaust.

At home, Macron started to shape his government by appointing relatively little-known lawmaker Edouard Philippe, 46, as his prime minister.

Among the conservatives said to be in the running are Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Bruno Le Maire and Thierry Breton.

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

Like Macron, Bayrou has a penchant for the literary and is the author of over a dozen books on history and politics, including one on French King Henry IV, who was famed for his contribution to the arts.

That made good on a promise to repopulate French politics with new faces and reinforced the generational shift under Macron, who at 39 is France's youngest president.

The 69-year-old is also considered France's super salesman - selling Rafales fighter jets to Egypt, India, Qatar and submarines to Australia.

Environmentalist Nicolas Hulot, takes charge of ecology, and publisher Francoise Nyssen became culture minister.

French President Emmanuel Macron says he wants a Europe that is both more conducive to investment and more protective of workers.

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Outgoing Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, a Socialist, may keep his post, to ensure continuity in French military operations against Islamic extremists in Syria, Iraq and Africa.

However, 21 LR members of parliament, including some party heavyweights and former ministers, issued a joint statement urging the party to positively respond to the "hand extended by the president".

Sylvie Goulard, a 52-year-old centrist MEP from the southern city of Marseille, is little known to the French public, having spent much of her career in Brussels.

Olympic fencing champion Laura Flessel will take up the role of sports minister.

Macron has promised a new law introducing higher ethical standards for lawmakers as one of his first pieces of legislation and was keen to avoid possible embarrassments, aides said.

Newly-appointed French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was welcomed to the prime minister's official residence in Paris on Monday.

Ahead of legislative elections in June, Republican campaign manager François Baroin accused Mr Macron of "dynamiting not political reshaping".

On his first foreign trip after barely 24 hours in office, Mr Macron met German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday and pushed for more coordination among countries that use the euro.

Goulard previously worked as an adviser to Romano Prodi when Prodi served as president of the European Commission - the executive arm of the EU.

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