Europe News

Macron presents diverse cabinet; shows willingness to reform

Leader of 'En Marche!' Emmanuel Macron wave to supporters after winning the French Presidential Election, at The Louvre on May 7, 2017 in Paris, France.
Patrick Aventurier | Getty Images

France's new president has unveiled his cabinet ministers on Wednesday, selecting a mix of political hues to broaden his support.

Among the 18 ministers, four are affiliated with the left, two belong to the right, two are part of the centrist movement Modem, two other ministers come from Macron's political movement and there's one member from the Green party. The remaining seven ministers are not attached to any political movement.

France's foreign ministry has now become the ministry for Europe and foreign affairs, showing Macron's pro-European stance.

Macron seemed to have also paid attention to gender, having chosen nine female ministers.

"Macron has tried to strike a fine political balance to maximize his chances of building a majority, while making sure the new government has enough competent figures to launch reforms," Antonio Barroso, deputy director of research at Teneo Intelligence, said in a note.

He added that the choices are "consistent with President Emmanuel Macron's strategy to maximize his chances of forming a parliamentary majority after the mid-June legislative elections. Specifically, the appointments of rising center-right figures Bruno Le Maire as economy minister and Gerald Darmanin as budget minister are an attempt to split the Republicans (LR) in two. Moreover, the choice of Le Maire is also probably aimed at sending a strong signal to Germany about Macron's commitment to reform. "

Le Maire was a former agriculture minister under rightwing president Nicolas Sarkozy. He was one of the big names on the right that withdrew his support to Francois Fillon and called for him to step down in the light of the Penelopegate scandal.

Gerald Darmanin also quit from his position as deputy secretary general in the wake of the Penelopegate scandal given Fillon's refusal to step down.

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

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