New French government unveiled, Le Drian foreign minister

Frederick Owens
May 19, 2017

The government will be formally presented on Wednesday.

The government includes 18 ministers, half of them women and half men.

His appointment marks a milestone in the rebuilding of France's political landscape, which has been dynamited by the election of Macron - the first president of modern France not from the country's mainstream left or right parties.

French right wing politicians reacted angrily today after new president Emmanuel Macron named 11 women in a politically and gender-balanced cabinet.

"A whole section of the centre and the right is ready to cross the line", the conservative Le Figaro daily wrote Tuesday.

They claim his choices would stop the Republicans forming an effective opposition.

While some in the Republicans fumed at Philippe's appointment, seeing it as a betrayal, others urged the party to accept Macron's "outstretched hand".

Mr Trump won the Republican presidential nomination, but has often shattered party orthodoxy.

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.

Nicolas Hulot, a highly-popular former wildlife documentary TV presenter, seen as the Gallic David Attenborough, was named Environment Minister.

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Sylvie Goulard takes defence, Muriel Penicaud becomes Labour Minister and Agnes Buzyn is Health Minister. Macron was inaugurated as France's new president at the Elysee Palace in Paris, and immediately launched into his mission to shake up French politics, world economics and the European Union. "Now let's get to work".

The new cabinet is scheduled to hold its first meeting on Thursday morning.

Germany's foreign minister quickly welcomed Le Drian, describing him as someone of "enormous political experience and great renown".

Philippe is a close associate of former prime minister Alain Juppe, who leads LR's moderate wing, and his mentor was more positive.

READ ALSO: Why is Macron naming government now and not after June's elections?

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives for talks with the German Chancellor, a day after the new French president took office, on May 15, 2017 at the Chancellery in Berlin.

But having a cabinet from across the spectrum makes it likely that Mr. Macron will garner support for his programme from both sides of the aisle, in the event that his party fails to secure a majority by itself.

Tusk was one of the first prominent European voices to congratulate Macron on his May 7 presidential election runoff victory over far-right and anti-EU politician Marine Le Pen.

Emmanuel Macron's support for the Paris bid is seen as symbolically important, and his decision to meet Tuesday with the visiting International Olympic Committee delegation was one of his first moves since taking office Sunday.

She held out the possibility of deep reform to the 19-nation eurozone if it is deemed necessary, saying she's prepared to talk about changes to the European Union treaties - a cumbersome and politically risky process.

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