Macron holds first meeting of unprecedented multiform cabinet

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/5/18 23:35:01

France's new government started work on Thursday with pledges to reform labor market, better manage public finances and improve governance, marking the debut of "an unprecedented government composed of women and men from diverse backgrounds."

"The President of the Republic recalled this morning that we are not restricted to banners. It is not our political origins that will prevent us from working intelligently for France," said Christophe Castaner, the government's spokesperson.

President Emmanuel Macron has "fixed the long-term government roadmap as it has a vocation to last," he added.

During a meeting with his executive staff, Macron stressed that confidentiality, discipline, solidarity and responsibility were the government's rules to govern the eurozone's second main power until 2022, according to Castaner.

Macron's team, mixing old hands and a lot of new blood, is stretching across the country's different political parties and headed by Edouard Philippe, a conservative lawmaker who has never held a national government post.

Several key jobs have gone to veteran politicians from the right, left and centre parties, including the Socialist Gerard Collomb who was named as interior minister, centrist politician Francois Bayrou who was appointed to take the charge of justice portfolio in addition to Jean-Yves Le Drian, ex-defense minister under former president Francois Hollande.

The list name which included 18 ministers and four junior ministers, contained several female faces and others from civil society, a move with which the country's new top official wants to deliver on gender parity promise he had campaigned for.

"The challenge of the next five years will be to prevent our country from falling apart, spreading success, widening the scope of opportunities, ensuring that globalization and the openness of our country benefit everyone," said Macron, Frances' youngest president in modern history after taking power on May 14.

"Work will be freed, companies will be supported, initiative will be encouraged, culture and education, creation and innovation will be at the heart of my action," he pledged.

"NO GRACE PERIOD"

An Elabe survey released Thursday for Les Echos newspaper and Radio Classique showed that 45 percent of respondents trusted in the new president to fix the country's problems while his prime minister gained 36 percent of favorable opinions, the lowest public support for leaders starting their governing period.

"This result shows an unprecedented situation in the Fifth Republic. There is no grace period for the president," Elabe said.

Macron's predecessors' ratings stood above 50 percent with socialist President Francois Hollande scoring confidence ratings of 58 percent when he took office in May 2012, conservative Nicolas Sarkozy 59 percent in 2007, Jacques Chirac 53 percent when re-elected in 2002 and 61 percent when he was first elected in 1995.

Past prime ministers' public support swung between 50 and 59 percent over these periods.

Analysts said some voters had chosen Macron "by default" to block far-right leader Marine Le Pen from winning presidency and without endorsing his project, a fact likely to add clouds to his stay at the Elysee Palace unless he lures them at his camp.

After an unprecedented tense campaign tainted by scandals and public discontent, the ex-investment banker won his bet to snatch the five-year presidency on May 7 via political earthquake which has ended decades of domination by France's two mainstream political parties.

Unknown until three years ago, the France's rising political star proposed a democratic front which included as he said new, talented and innovative faces regardless of their political parties to build a strong France and further cement cooperation ties with Europe.

But a question remains: can a novice president from anti-establishment succeed in what major traditional parties failed in during the previous decades?

Posted in: EUROPE

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