PARIS—President Emmanuel Macron named Jean Castex, a top civil servant and local mayor who orchestrated Frances coronavirus lockdown exit strategy, as his new prime minister on Friday as he acted to reinvent his administration and win back voters.
Castex, 55, hails from the centre-right of French politics and served for two years as the second-highest ranking official in the Elysee Palace during Nicolas Sarkozys presidency.
An Elysee official described Castex as a senior civil servant whose experience in local politics would help Macron connect with provincial France. Castex was a “social Gaullist,” the official said in reference to the more interventionist, socially minded wing of Frances centre-right.
The announcement followed the resignation of Edouard Philippe ahead of a widely anticipated overhaul of the government by Macron.
Macron is reshaping his government as France grapples with the deepest economic depression since World War II, a sharp downturn that will shrink the economy by about 11 percent in 2020 and reverse hard-fought gains on unemployment.
Investors will be watching to see if Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who has overseen reforms to liberalise the economy and spent big to keep companies like Air France and Renault afloat during the crisis, keeps his job.
“The return from summer holidays will be difficult, we must get ready,” Macron told regional newspapers in an interview published late on Thursday.
Macron and Philippe dined together on Wednesday and met on Thursday. The Elysee source described Thursdays discussions as warm and friendly. Both men agreed on “the need for a new government to embody the next phase, a new path,” the aide said.
Macron said last month he wanted to start afresh as France embarks on a delicate and costly recovery from its coronavirus slump. Then came his partys dire showing in nationwide municipal elections on June 28.
The local elections revealed surging support for the Green party and underlined Macrons troubles connecting with ordinary people. His La Republique en Marche party failed to win a sRead More – Source