Macron First French Leader to Seek Balancing Business, Politics

Le Havre mayor Edouard Philippe was named prime minister on Monday in a further effort to splinter the country's traditional parties and redraw the political map

Emmanuel Macron names conservative Edouard Philippe as new French prime minister

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

Macron, who became the youngest President in the French history, appointed Edouard Philippe, center-right politician of the Republicans, as his Prime Minister.

Sylvie Goulard, a centrist MEP, was named Defence Minister.

Members of civil society without government work on their resumes were appointed to some ministerial posts.

Macron flew to Berlin in his first full day in office on Monday for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel over how to inject new life into the Franco-German relationship and the troubled European project.

Philippe, like Macron, attended the elite ENA school, and his political hero is Rocard - another point in common with the 39-year-old new president.

He's been seen as a behind-the-scenes mentor for Macron, pledging his support even before he launched his presidential campaign.

His appointment has surprised many all across the board as Macron wishes to govern outside the traditional French left-right divide. Jean-Yves Le Drian, 69, the former defense minister, stays on in Macron's new government as foreign minister and Europe minister.

Le Drian, who has nurtured close ties with African and Middle Eastern leaders and developed Paris' relationship in Asia, is likely to leave much of the European portfolio to junior minister Marielle De Sarnez, a centrist European expert who has been a member of the European parliament since 1999.

Bruno Le Maire, candidate in last years primaries organized by the conservative The Republicans party, has become economy minister.

Germany is looking to Mr Macron to revitalise 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.

So far his appointments to his presidential team have all gone to men under 50, a lot of them graduates like him of France's elite ENA college for senior public servants - which has turned out generations of French politicians.

Nicolas Hulot is a prominent environmental campaigner and documentary journalist whose television series promotes environmentalism while showing off handsome landscapes.

Macron's staff had initially said the government would be named late Tuesday but the presidential palace now says in a statement the announcement will come Wednesday afternoon.

It's a delicate balancing act, as Macron tries to redesign French politics by borrowing ministers from both sides and combining youth with experience to help him make a mark on Europe and world affairs.

The 69-year-old represents the moderate, centrist wing of the party and was elected to the French National Assembly aged 34 in 1981, when Macron was a toddler.

The first cabinet meeting takes place Thursday at 10 am London time.

Juppe said he would be backing LR lawmakers in the mid-June elections, and not Macron's candidates.

Macron's party is not expected to win the legislative elections in June outright.

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