Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

With Merkel and PM, France's new president wastes no time


Underlining the concerns over Macron's proposals, Germany's biggest selling daily Bild warned ahead of the French leader's meeting with Merkel that before seeking deeper European Union integration, "France must once again be at the same level as Germany politically and economically".

Travelling to the German capital to meet the veteran leader in his first official trip overseas, Macron used the opportunity to call for a "historic reconstruction" of Europe.

The new eurozone finance minister would also oversee this, which Macron calls an effort to fight "social dumping", when companies move work or workers to countries with lower taxes.

PARIS France's new prime minister will be announced at 1430 local time (1230 GMT), a statement from President Emmanuel Macron's office said on Monday.

"If the prime minister comes from the right, Emmanuel Macron will be able to attack the parliamentary elections by dynamiting the right, in the same way he has done to the left", political expert Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet told Agence France-Presse.

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Christophe Castaner, Macron's campaign spokesman, said on Sunday this was the kind of tough choice that would have to be made in Macron's inner circle now that the battle for the presidential Elysee Palace was won.

Philippe is part of the center-right Republicans and not yet a member of Macron's new party La République En Marche.

Speed is becoming one of Macron's trademarks.

Macron's planned afternoon trip to Berlin, his first as president, signals his intent to also move rapidly on campaign promises to revive support for the European Union by reforming and strengthening it.

As well as the political coup of poaching Philippe from the right, Macron is also siphoning off support from lawmakers on the left. Other names have been touted in local media, including the secretary-general of Macron's Republic on the Move (REM) party, Richard Ferrand. Voters go to the polls again in June to elect the 577 lawmakers in the National Assembly. "She likes substance, she likes people who are hands on and she knows he won't take her for a ride", said the minister. Melenchon on Monday urged them not to give Macron a parliamentary majority.

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Reacting to Philippe's appointment Monday by President Emmanuel Macron, Juppe called the new prime minister "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job".

To deal with waves of migration and the threat of foreign extremists, Macron wants 5,000 new guards deployed on the outer borders of Europe's Schengen passport-free travel zone.

Germany is looking to Macron to revitalize France as an economic power and political heavyweight in the European Union, which is facing complex divorce proceedings with its current No. 2 economy, Britain. When Britain leaves the bloc in 2019, France will be the EU's only member with nuclear weapons and a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.

The idea has been met with skepticism by some in Germany, Europe's strongest economy, which has faced the biggest share of bailouts for weaker eurozone members.

Merkel has praised Macron's embrace of European unity but has offered few concrete details of the way forward for German-French relations.

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