Macron's 18-member Cabinet has old, new faces

Posted June 02, 2017

In addition to appointing 11 women in the list of 22 ministers and choosing members from civil society and the government, Mr. Macron's cabinet picks are being seen as an attempt to transcend the left-right divide, a theme he reiterated through his campaign.

In an important gesture to the right-wing Republicans party ahead of parliamentary elections next month, the crucial Economy Ministry will be run by prominent conservative Bruno Le Maire, 48.

Sylvie Goulard takes defence, Muriel Penicaud becomes Labour Minister and Agnes Buzyn is Health Minister.

The Socialist mayor of Lyon Gerard Collomb was appointed interior minister, a key position as France deals with continued terror threats following a series of deadly attacks over the past two years.

The first ministerial cabinet meeting will be held on Thursday at 11 a.m. France local time according to sources published to same global news agencies on Wednesday.

Macron's office is scheduled to announce his government Wednesday afternoon, after a delay to dig deeper into proposed ministers' tax records and potential conflicts of interest.

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He added that the choices are "consistent with President Emmanuel Macron's strategy to maximize his chances of forming a parliamentary majority after the mid-June legislative elections".

The biggest surprise was the appointment of television star and environmentalist Nicolas Hulot as ecology minister.

The 69-year-old Jean-Yves Le Drian (John-Eve Le DREE-on) was France's defense minister during the five-year term of former President Francois Hollande.

He is mayor of the northern port of Le Havre and an MP for the region since 2012 who studied at the same universities as Macron and shares many of his views on the economy and social issues.

Another conservative Gerald Darmanin, was appointed budget minister. He had also hailing then US President Barack Obama as "handsome, young and also suntanned", the report said.

Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron has named his Cabinet.

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The announcement of the line-up was delayed by 24 hours on Tuesday, with the presidency saying it needed more time to carry out more extensive screening of candidates.

But his year-old party faces a strong challenge from the losers of the presidential election, with the Republicans, Le Pen's National Front, the hard-left France Insoumise (France Unbowed) and centre-left Socialists all plotting revenge.

Reacting via Twitter, Francois Bayrou, leader of the Democratic Movement Party, said: "I am very happy with [Philippe's] nomination because of his human qualities and because of the composure thus promised to France".

Alain Juppe, a former prime minister, called Mr Philippe "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job".

In his busy first week, Mr Macron is also set to meet EU Council President Donald Tusk in Paris on Wednesday as he tackles his top foreign priority of reforming the European Union.

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