France's Macron names Republican Philippe as PM

Le Pen had her own take on the Philippe appointment, saying that it will mean the same narrative that has dominated France over decades.

The 46-year-old Philippe - who's relatively unknown in France and according to French media, is a fan of Bruce Springsteen - is a member of the Republicans party and initially supported Alain Juppe in the presidential campaign.

On the home front, he will have to work quickly to tackle stubbornly high unemployment, combat the jihadist threat and heal divisions exposed by an often vicious election campaign.

He heads to Berlin later Monday for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on how Europe s power couple can drive reforms of the bloc. Following the announcement, Juppé described him as a man of "great talent".

Philippe is "a prime minister who will bring everyone together around a progressive, daring, unifying program", said Gerard Collomb, the Socialist mayor of Lyon and one of the earliest backers of Macron.

Philippe won out to some other, perhaps more politically aligned, potential nominees, including former Socialist Richard Ferrand, who has been a loyal supporter of Macron since he established his independent movement previous year.

French newly elected President Emmanuel Macron (R) poses with his wife Brigitte Trogneux at the Elysee presidential Palace after the handover and prior to the inauguration ceremony on May 14, 2017 in Paris.

Macron is expected to name the rest of his cabinet by the middle of the week.

The new eurozone finance minister would also oversee this, which Macron calls an effort to fight "social dumping", when companies move work or workers to countries with lower taxes.

"This is an individual decision. We regret it", LR said in a statement.

Mr Juppe said the Mr Philippe was "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job".

Last week, the new party announced "a list of 428 candidates for June's elections, half of whom were women", the broadcaster says. But he added that if LR and its allies did not win a majority in June, voters "would not understand if we systematically opposed everything".

Center-right Edouard Philippe, Mayor of the northwestern French city of Havre, has taken office as the country's Prime Minister.

Philippe, the mayor of the Normandy port of Le Havre, is a trained lawyer and an author of political thrillers.

Philippe's nomination also expresses Macron's strategy to go beyond the traditional right vs left divide, and to split the centre-right Republicans party - to which Philippe belongs - ahead of next month's legislative elections.

Mr Philippe quit that cause when the financial scandal over fake jobs for Mr Fillon's family hit his campaign.

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