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June 28, Wednesday 2017 5:53 AM       

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       WORLD Next Article: N Korea's 'new missile' has unprecedented range: experts  
       With Merkel and PM, France's new president wastes no time
 
         Posted on :15:55:04 May 15, 2017
   
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       Last edited on:15:55:04 May 15, 2017
         Tags: President Emmanuel Macron first day
 

PARIS: On his first full day in office, France's freshly inaugurated President Emmanuel Macron was moving quickly Monday on fronts foreign and domestic, with a scheduled first presidential trip to Berlin for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel and the expected unveiling of his choice for prime minister.

Among names being bandied around for the top job in Macron's first government, speculation mostly centered on Edouard Philippe.

The 46-year-old lawmaker, largely unknown to voters, is a member of the mainstream right Republicans party that was badly battered by Macron's victory in the presidential campaign.

Appointing Philippe could tick several boxes for 39-year-old Macron, France's youngest president, who took power on Sunday.

Philippe's age would reinforce the generational shift in France's corridors of power and the image of youthful vigour that Macron is cultivating. It would also make well on Macron's campaign promises to repopulate French politics with new faces.

Philippe could also attract other Republicans to Macron's cause as the centrist president works to piece together a majority in parliament to pass promised economic reforms.

Macron's planned afternoon trip to Berlin, his first as president, signals his intent to also move rapidly on campaign promises to revive support for the European Union by reforming and strengthening it.

On Sunday, Macron said "We will need a more efficient Europe, a more democratic Europe, and a more political Europe because it's the instrument of our power and our sovereignty, I will work on that."

Germany is looking to Macron to revitalize France as an economic power and political heavyweight in an EU facing complex divorce proceedings with Britain.

When Britain leaves the bloc in 2019, France will be the EU's only member with nuclear weapons and a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

As a presidential candidate, Macron called for a "new Franco-German deal" that would involve "much more structured cooperation" on investment, on European border security, and on defence.

Macron is the conservative Merkel's fourth French president in nearly 12 years as chancellor. She built a solid relationship with Macron's predecessor, Socialist Francois Hollande, despite their political differences notably with their joint effort to secure an accord to calm the crisis in Ukraine in tense overnight talks in Minsk, Belarus in 2015.

Germany is keen to continue with the Franco-German diplomatic drive to keep a lid on the situation in Ukraine.

Merkel has praised Macron's embrace of European unity but has offered few concrete details of the way forward for German-French relations.

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       WORLD
Next Article: N Korea's 'new missile' has unprecedented range: experts
 
 
WORLD HEADLINES
China claims Indian troops crossed border, blocks pilgrims  
JIT to interrogate Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz in Panama case  
Macron says France will not recognise Crimea 'annexation'  
Abducted priest seen alive as Islamists hold out in Philippines  
Modi, Trump vow to fight terrorism  
China's fastest bullet train makes debut  
Chinese media says 'stubborn' India aiming to counter-balance Beijing's CPEC  
White House forgoes Iftar for first time in two decades  
Malaysia-bound AirAsia flight ‘shaking like washing machine’ returns to Aus  
123 killed, 100 injured as oil tanker explodes in Pak  
PM Modi hold talks with Portuguese counterpart  
73 dead in multiple blasts in 3 Pak cities  
100 feared buried by landslide in China  
Arab countries send Qatar list of 13 demands to end crisis  
N Korea conducts yet another rocket engine test  
Balochistan: Five killed in blast near IGP office in Quetta  
Jadhav seeks clemency from Pak army chief  
India criticises US and UN over Afghan terror attacks  
24 killed in bomb attack at New Kabul Bank in Afghanistan  
Mosul mosque destruction means ISIS admitting defeat: Iraq PM  
Man arrested over abusive twitter post after London mosque  
Prince Philip admitted to hospital with infection, says Buckingham Palace  
Saudi king names son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince  
US group wants to ban sale of smartphones for kids under 13  
French defence minister Goulard announces resignation  
 
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