World Macron puts finishing touch to new-look French cabinet

15:35  16 may  2017
15:35  16 may  2017 Source:   AFP

Macron leads in French opinion polls heading into Sunday election

  Macron leads in French opinion polls heading into Sunday election French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has a big lead in opinion polls heading into Sunday's election. Reuters reports that Macron leads right-wing National Front candidate Marine Le Pen by 23-26 percentage points in opinion polls conducted ahead of the runoff election.Macron, who is pro-European Union and wants to unify the left a nd the right in France, has been a favorite over Le Pen, an anti-immigration nationalist, since the conclusion of the first round of the election last month.Voters in France are heading to the polls two days after Macron's campaign was hacked and a massive archive of emails and documents were leaked online.

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France's new President Emmanuel Macron is set to announce his cabinet © Provided by AFP France's new President Emmanuel Macron is set to announce his cabinet

French President Emmanuel Macron is set to unveil his cabinet on Tuesday, a delicate balancing act for the centrist who has promised to include faces from the left and right as well as political newcomers.

On Monday, his first day in office, Macron named centre-right MP Edouard Philippe as prime minister and travelled to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on reforming the EU.

On Tuesday, he and Philippe were finalising a government which Macron says will supersede France's entrenched left-right divide and breathe new life into the country's jaded political landscape.

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  Canada's Trudeau hails Macron French presidential win Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday congratulated Emmanuel Macron on winning France's presidential election."I look forward to working closely with President-elect Macron in the years ahead as we work together on a progressive agenda to promote international security, increase collaboration in science and technology, and create good, middle class jobs on both sides of the Atlantic," he said in a statement.

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Macron has said half his ministers will be women and that some will be high achievers in business, academia, the civil service or the NGO world.

Some could be replaced after next month's parliamentary election, depending on how many seats Macron's fledgling Republique En Marche (REM) party wins.

So far his appointments to his presidential team have all gone to men under 50, most of them graduates like him of France's elite ENA college for senior public servants -- which has turned out generations of French politicians.

His choice of Philippe, 46, for prime minister was seen as a strategic pick by the 39-year-old president, who is trying to woo modernisers of all stripes to his side.

A former minister in the outgoing Socialist government, Macron has already convinced dozens of Socialist MPs to run on his general election ticket.

French presidency for Macron; name change for far-right

  French presidency for Macron; name change for far-right France's far-right National Front party is gearing up for a name change — but not a makeover of its ideas — after its decisive loss to centrist Emmanuel Macron.In interviews Monday, the campaign director for Marine Le Pen, David Rachline, said the party founded by her father would get a new name as bait to pull in more supporters in France. Macron won the presidency with 66 percent of votes cast for a candidate. But a high number of blank or spoiled votes and unusually low turnout are signs of an electorate dissatisfied with its choices.

PARIS — Former French Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday he wanted to stand for President-elect Emmanuel Macron ’s political movement in June parliamentary elections, the first high-profile defection since Macron ’s election win on Sunday.

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But he also needs to win over a part of the right to deliver on his promise of a cross-party approach and weaken his opponents ahead of the two-round June 11-18 parliamentary vote.

Philippe -- a moderate member of the Republicans party whose presidential candidate crashed out in the election's first round -- is seen as Macron's Trojan horse on the right.

While some in the Republicans fumed at Philippe's appointment, seeing it as a betrayal on his part, others welcomed it and urged the parties to accept Macron's "outstretched hand".

"A whole section of the centre and the right is ready to cross the line," the conservative Le Figaro daily wrote Tuesday.

- Sole surviving Socialist minister -

Among the people tipped for cabinet jobs are conservative ex-agriculture minister Bruno Le Maire, centrist MEP Sylvie Goulard, Lyon's Socialist Mayor Gerard Collomb and popular outgoing Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

French ex-prime minister Valls plans to back Macron in June elections

  French ex-prime minister Valls plans to back Macron in June elections Manuel Valls, a former French Socialist prime minister, said on Tuesday that he wished to support President-elect Emmanuel Macron's political movement in the June elections in the lower house of parliament. "I will be a candidate in the presidential majority and I wish to join up to his movement, namely the 'Republic on the Move'," Valls told RTL radio.Macron is working to obtain a majority in the lower house of parliament in June elections.

By picking Philippe, Macron , a former minister in Socialist Francois Hollandes government, is looking to broaden his appeal ahead of the legislative elections. PARIS: Edouard Philippe, the center-right mayor of the port city of Le Havre, was named F rance’s new prime minister, charged with putting

could not select the database in database/MySQL.php. Leading French presidential candidate Macron 's campaign says its files have

Le Drian is expected to be the only member of the outgoing Socialist government to be kept on, with Macron keeping a careful distance from the little-loved administration of his predecessor Francois Hollande.

Among the non-politicians to be offered roles is well-known environmentalist Nicolas Hulot, a source in the presidency said.

Hulot, who has previously turned down such offers, had "decided to go for it", provided certain conditions were met, the source said.

- 'Historic' EU reform -

A day after his inauguration the fervently pro-EU Macron made his first trip abroad, visiting Germany, the other half of the power couple driving European integration.

Merkel warmly welcomed the fourth president to occupy the Elysee Palace since she came to power 12 years ago.

Macron, who trounced far-right leader Marine Le Pen in an election fought on globalisation, urged a "historic reconstruction" of Europe to battle the populism sweeping the continent and widespread disillusionment with the EU.

Merkel said they had "a common understanding that we can't just focus on Britain leaving the EU but that, first and foremost, we have to think about how we can deepen and crisis-proof the European Union, and especially the eurozone."

Ahead of his visit, Macron's ideas on reforming the eurozone -- including giving it a separate budget and minister, moves that would require treaty change -- had sparked scepticism in Berlin.

Merkel, however, appeared keen to support Macron ahead of next month's general election in which he will faces a tough battle to win an outright majority.

"From the German point of view, it's possible to change the treaty if it makes sense", she said.

France to 'do everything we can' to help Britain fight terror: Macron .
President Emmanuel Macron on Friday vowed France's total support for Britain's fight against terrorism after the Manchester attack as he met Prime Minister Theresa May at the G7 summit. "We will be here to cooperate and do everything we can in order to increase this cooperation at the European level, in order to do more from a bilateral point of view against terrorism," Macron told May in front of reporters, noting that "very young people" had been targeted.

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