France's Macron names Republican Philippe as PM

Source: BBC
Date: 15th-may-2017 Time:  12:57:45 pm

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President Emmanuel Macron has chosen centre-right mayor Edouard Philippe as France's new prime minister.

Mr Philippe, 46, is not from the president's new centrist party but from the centre-right Republicans.

The choice is seen as an attempt to draw in key figures from both the right and left of French politics.

The announcement forms part of a busy first day for the president - he travels to Germany shortly to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The naming of a new prime minister, Mr Macron's first big appointment, came after hours of fevered speculation in France. 

Already tipped as favourite for the job, Edouard Philippe, mayor of the northern port city of Le Havre, has long been close to Alain Juppé, who was runner-up in the race for the Republican presidential nomination in November 2016.

President Macron faces crucial parliamentary elections next month and may need the support of the centre right to push through his planned economic reforms.

Mr Macron, a 39-year-old former investment banker and economy minister, was inaugurated on Sunday in a ceremony at the Elysée Palace.

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