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AFP
July 4, 2020

Macron names Jean Castex as new French PM

Top Story

AFP
July 4, 2020

PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron on Friday named senior French civil servant Jean Castex, who drew up the policy for easing the coronavirus lockdown, as his new prime minister as part of a government reshuffle.

“The president of the Republic has named Jean Castex as prime minister and mandated him to form a government,” the presidency said in a brief statement.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and his entire government resigned on Friday as Macron’s ruling party reels from dire local election results and the president prepares to tackle the economic crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Macron, who has pursued ambitious economic reforms since coming to office in 2017, has already admitted that the recession caused by the health crisis would require the government to shift tack.

In an interview with regional newspapers published late Thursday, Macron said France must prepare for a “very difficult” economic crisis, “so we have to chart a new course.”

“I see this based on an economic, social, environmental and cultural reconstruction,” he said. “Behind this, there will be a new team.”

Speculation that Philippe was on the way out mounted this week after Macron’s centrist party was routed in municipal elections last Sunday and Greens took control of several major cities.

At a meeting Thursday, Macron and Philippe “agreed on the need for a new government to embody a new phase for this term,” the source said.