Macron names Close Supporters in Key Ministries for Debut Cabinet


"We need more pragmatism, less bureaucracy and a Europe that protects our citizens". Merkel and Macron want to kick-start ties with an alliance some German media have dubbed "Merkron".

Pope Francis has sent new French President Emmanuel Macron his congratulations and a few words of encouragement.

"I will work on that", Macron said Sunday, his inauguration day.

In picking Macron, Tusk said the French people had chosen "liberty, equality and fraternity" and "said no to the tyranny of fake news".

"I pray that God support you so that your country, faithful to the rich diversity of its moral traditions and its spiritual heritage marked also by the Christian tradition, may always endeavor to build a more just and fraternal society", Pope Francis said in the May 16 message.

Merkel called for "new dynamism" in the countries' relationship.

When Britain leaves the bloc in 2019, France will be the EU's only member with nuclear weapons and a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. "Perhaps we can learn from the French in certain things", Merkel said.

On his first foreign trip after barely 24 hours in office, Mr Macron met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday and pushed for more co-ordination among countries that use the euro.

In his first cabinet line-up, the new head of state mixed profiles unknown for public with others coming from the political mainstream to end decades of right-left divide.

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By appointing Philippe, Macron has passed over some loyal followers including Richard Ferrand, a former Socialist who was one of the first to join Macron's cause a year ago and is secretary general of REM.

From the right-wing, Bruno Le Maire, a pro-European, was picked as economy minister. Despite a long political career, it will be his first ministerial position. Mr. Philippe's early political leanings were with the Socialist Party, but later he came to be associated with former President Jacques Chirac and former centre-right Prime Minister Alain Juppe's Union for a Popular Movement.

A former university history teacher, he has spent 35 years in politics and is president of the Brittany region.

He concluded his brief telegram by invoking the Lord's blessing on President Macron and on all the inhabitants of France. The government appointments are part of a delicate balancing act Macron has to perform ahead of the mid-June legislative elections.

Gerard Collomb (Je-RAR Koll-OMB), a 69-year-old Socialist, was appointed interior minister.

But over 20 LR members of parliament, including some party heavyweights and former ministers, issued a joint statement on Monday urging the party to positively respond to the "hand extended by the president". 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.

Mr Philippe, 46, mayor of port city Le Havre, will be a counterweight to the former Socialist MPs who have joined Mr Macron's cause.

He supervised French military operations in Mali, Central African Republic, Iraq and Syria.

"He's very serious and well-liked but doesn't know that much about foreign affairs".