New French prime minister took job because of 'unique' situation

Paris. Goulard has been nominated as new Defense Minister in French President Emmanuel Macron's first government Wednesday May 17 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to introduce a new government with a fresh face, tasked with carrying out his plans to rethink labour laws and overhaul politics.

Reacting to Mr Philippe's appointment, Mr Juppe called the new prime minister "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job".

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, whom Macron named on Monday, will lead the government, at least until the parliamentary elections scheduled for June.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, 69, who led France's military operations overseas as former President Francois Hollande's defense minister, will stay on in Macron's government as foreign minister.

Another centrist, Sylvie Goulard (Goo-LARR), will lead the Defense Ministry, while Socialist Gerard Collomb will head the Interior Ministry.

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

Bruno Le Maire (Le-mare) is a member of The Republicans party. The 65-year-old came close, but ultimately failed, to destabilizing the battle that was fought between the Socialist's Segolene Royal and future President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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.

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

She had never been a lawmaker in the French parliament and has no government experience — both attributes that could be either a strength or weakness for Macron's fledgling government.

This item has been corrected to show that Goulard is 52 years old, not 59.

Newly-inaugurated Macron has redefined history, as this is the first time in modern French political history that a president willingly appoints a prime minister from outside his camp.

Macron wants European militaries to work together more, and for eurozone countries to share a budget and tax rules. He has also promised a tough line on Britain as it negotiates its departure from the European Union, to deter others from trying to leave after debt and migration crises that have eroded public support for the bloc.

The announcement initially planned for Tuesday was pushed back a day while authorities dug more deeply into candidates' tax records and financial assets for signs of potential conflicts of interest. A series of tax evasion and other scandals hit the previous government.

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