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ibusinesslines.com August 18, 2017


France's Macron holds 1st Cabinet meeting; half are women

20 May 2017, 02:07 | Erica Roy

France's Macron holds 1st Cabinet meeting; half are women

French President Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo left walk together to attend a ceremony at the Paris city hall France Sunday

Collomb has been nominated as French Interieur Minister Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

The cabinet of 11 men and 11 women also includes two outgoing Socialist ministers, notably Jean-Yves Le Drian, 69, President Hollande's long-serving defence minister, who became foreign minister.

The 69-year-old from northwest Brittany, who backed former cabinet colleague Macron for president, is one of only two ministers to be kept on - a reward for his support which helped paper over Macron's lack of worldwide experience.

French President Emmanuel Macron has named a mix of prominent and unknown figures from the left and the right to make up the government tasked with pushing through his plans to reduce labour protections, tighten European unity and boost military spending.

It named 428 candidates last week, half of them women and more than half from outside the political establishment, fulfilling a party pledge made in January.

Center-right Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, whom Mr Macron tapped named Monday, is to lead the government at least until the elections.

Mr Philippe and Mr Macron chose experienced politicians from the left, the centre and the right for the main positions.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, 69, who led France's military operations overseas as former President Francois Hollande's defence minister, will stay on in Mr Macron's government as foreign minister.

High-profile conservative Bruno Le Maire was the pick for the Finance Ministry.

Mr Macron, 39, had promised to include people from civil society in his government.


"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 48-year-old served as agriculture minister from 2009 to 2012 under former President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has congratulated Mr Macron on taking office and forming his Cabinet.

The government appointments are part of a delicate balancing act Macron has to perform ahead of the mid-June legislative elections.

Collomb has spearheaded several major projects to revitalise Lyon since becoming mayor in 2001.

Another appointment with a clear pro-EU tint was that of close Macron ally Sylvie Goulard, a liberal member of the European parliament, who succeeded Le Drian in the Defence Ministry.

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

Having backed Macron early, Le Drian takes over the foreign affairs portfolio after holding the defense post for five years under Hollande. They range from quirky to obscure to old-school: math genius Cedric Villani; former train and subway boss Anne-Marie Idrac; Axelle Tessandier, who created a startup in San Francisco before joining Macron's campaign; and a string of former ministers in Socialist and conservative governments.

He supervised French military operations in Mali, Central African Republic, Iraq and Syria.

"This shows Europe is the priority", a French diplomatic source said of the rare inclusion of Europe in the foreign ministry portfolio, although also sounding a warning note on his suitability for the role.

PARIS (AP) - French President Emmanuel Macron held a special security meeting, spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and convened his Cabinet for the first time Thursday - all under a growing cloud of concern that his office is trying to control the press.



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