French president meeting EU chief, to reveal minister picks

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

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

Macron on Monday named center-right politician Edouard Philippe of the Republicans as his Prime Minister.

The naming of two conservatives naturally irked those on the right.

They claim his choices would stop the Republicans forming an effective opposition. Mr. Macron's own La Republique en Marche movement is fielding candidates for the elections- more than 400 of whom have been chosen.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, 69, former defence minister under former president Francois Hollande, stays on in Mr Macron's government as foreign minister and Europe minister. To meet that goal, he appointed well-known environmentalist Nicolas Hulot as ecology minister and a publisher as culture minister.

Gérard Collomb, another leftist who broke with the Socialist Party to support Macron, has been rewarded with the Interior Ministry.

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.

"Macron intends to get Europe out of its rut", Sylvie Goulard, a French lawmaker in the European Parliament tipped for a high-ranking ministerial role, told RFI radio.

Laura Flessel, 45, is a black fencing champion from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. She becomes the minister of sport.

Appearing earlier at a handover ceremony with outgoing Socialist prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who is also from Normandy, Philippe joked that Normans were "aggressively moderate" as well as "conquerors".

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This is, however, down from the 68 per cent approval after its first year and 64 percent approval after its second year. Only 21 per cent people thought that the government was doing okay on the job creation front.

On the campaign trail ahead of his election on May 7, Mr Macron pledged a slimmed-down group of ministers of around 15 people, half of them women and including people from outside politics.

Edouard Philippe on May 16.

A former university history teacher, Le Drian has spent 35 years in politics and is president of the Brittany region.

And he asked Macron also to "contribute to the cooperation and solidarity among nations", and to continue to promote "in Europe and in the world the search for peace and common good, the respect of life and the defense of dignity of each person".

PARIS (AP) - French President Emmanuel Macron has gathered his newly-named government for his first Cabinet meeting - an assembly that looks significantly different than its predecessors. If Macron's party doesn't win a majority in the June 11 and 18 parliamentary elections, he might have to form a coalition and adjust the makeup of the government.

He is also credited with leading a resurgence in French weapons' exports that have resulted in billions of euros in deals, including the first exports of the Rafale fighter jet made by french companies Dassault Aviation and Thales.

In his first cabinet line-up, the new head of state mixed profiles unknown to the public with others coming from the political mainstream to end decades of right-left divide.

On his first foreign trip after barely 24 hours in office, Mr Macron met German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday and pushed for more coordination among countries that use the euro.

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