Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Macron pick for French premier about to be named

Macron pick for French premier about to be named

A leading French conservative accused President Emmanuel Macron of "dynamiting" the political landscape on Tuesday as he put together a government that is expected to include former rivals on both left and right. The president's office said Macron wanted to allow time for thorough checks on the ministers' background, including their tax situation, and avoid conflicts of interest.

French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to introduce a new government with a fresh face, tasked with carrying out his plans to rethink labour laws and overhaul politics.

Outgoing defence 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.

He has only been a member of Parliament for one term, serving in the National Assembly representing the constituency of Seine-Maritime in Normandy, northern France, since 2012.

France's new prime minister, 46-year-old Edouard Philippe, is close to Alain Juppe, a former prime minister who campaigned for the French presidency but was beaten in a primary.

It says Alexis Kohler, Macron's new general secretary at the Elysee, will make the announcement.

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This item has been corrected to show the GMT time is 1230 GMT, not 1330 GMT.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to avoid lecturing newly elected President Emmanuel Macron on overhauling France's economy when they meet in Berlin, saying she isn't a "know-it-all".

In Germany, Macron's election victory on May 7 stoked an election-year fight between Merkel's Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, who said his ascent to the presidency was the signal for the chancellor to dump fiscal austerity in Europe. She replied: "I am the last person who is going to come and say what France has to do".

Mr Macron said that he would work with Mrs Merkel on a "road map", and that they needed to work on "deep reforms that are necessary and need common work".

French President Emmanuel Macron listens as Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo delivers her speech during a ceremony at the Hotel de Ville in Paris, France, Sunday, May 14, 2017.

Merkel said it's important for French people, particularly the young, to have more hope of jobs. She added that there have been many proposals over the years for the development of the 19-nation eurozone.

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Germany and France have traditionally been the motor of European integration, but the relationship has become increasingly lopsided in recent years as France struggled economically.

Merkel and Macron met in Berlin in March during the French presidential campaign, but Monday's talks mark their first meeting since his election.

"We know that in the world in which we live in it's not the president who imposes foreign policy, but foreign policy that imposes itself on the president", said Francois Heisbourg, a Macron adviser and chairman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Among names being bandied around for the top job in Macron's first government, speculation is mostly centering on Edouard Philippe.

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

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