Germany and France agree to draw up roadmap on developing EU

New French prime minister took job because of 'unique' situation

New French prime minister took job because of 'unique' situation

He also reaffirmed Macron's commitment to business-friendly labour reforms.

Newly inaugurated centrist President Emmanuel Macron has appointed conservative Edouard Philippe as prime minister, an unprecedented move in post-war France in the voluntary choice of a head of government from outside the president's party.

"We each represent the interests of our own countries, but the interests of Germany are naturally closely tied to the interests of France", Merkel said.

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.

Looking ahead to her meeting with Macron, she added: "I will say first let us have openness, to find things in common, and not start with everything that can't be done ..."

Merkel said that, from Germany's viewpoint, it would be possible to change European Union treaties, adding: "I would be ready to do this, but first we will work on what we want to reform".

The visit to Berlin continued a tradition of French presidents making their first foreign trip to Germany.

A large group of onlookers, some carrying European flags, stood outside the chancellery as Macron arrived.

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

Macron, for his part, reassured Germany that he wouldn't revive the idea of jointly issued eurobonds, which divided Europe at the height of the eurozone debt crisis.

Alexis Kohler, Mr Macron's new general secretary, announced the news from the steps of the Elysee Palace on Monday, the day after Mr Macron's inauguration and after hours of intense speculation in France.

Philippe's age reinforced the generational shift in France's corridors of power and the image of youthful vigor that Macron is cultivating. Philippe is also relatively unknown to voters, fulfilling Macron's campaign promise to repopulate French politics with new faces.

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The mayor of Le Havre since 2010, Philippe previously worked as a director of public affairs for French nuclear group Areva from 2007-2010 and as a lawyer from 2004-2007 with New York City-based worldwide law firm Debevoise and Plimpton LLP.

Philippe is a member of the centre-right Les Republicains party and is close to Alaine Juppe, the former Prime Minister, reports CNN. He is a close ally of Alain Juppé, the former prime minister who ran unsuccessfully in the center-right presidential primary past year.

Speed is becoming one of Macron's trademarks.

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.

But not everyone was pleased with Philippe's announcement.

A source close to Macron said he would seek to convince Merkel to back his "protection agenda" for Europe which includes a "Buy European Act" and regulations to prevent strategic firms from falling into non-European hands. He is the first president of modern France to come neither from the mainstream left nor the right parties.

"French presidents are free to choose their prime ministers, but only if they hold a majority in the National Assembly", the Times reports. Melenchon urged them not to give Macron a parliamentary majority.

"The right has just been annexed, with a prime minister taken from its ranks, from the Republicans", Melenchon said.

Merkel said it's important for French people, particularly the young, to have more hope of jobs.

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.

A newcomer to worldwide diplomacy, Macron has assumed control of a nuclear power with a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council as crises persist in Syria, Libya and North Korea.

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