FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron has named right-wing MP Edouard Philippe as the country’s new Prime Minister.The choice will be seen as a strategic move by Macron to woo more moderates to his new centrist En Marche party.Mr Philippe, a 46-year-old Republicans party MP and mayor of the northern port of Le Havre, will take over from Socialist PM Bernard Cazeneuve.The dad-of-three, who believes that France "is a land of immigration", will be seen as a counterweight to the ex-Socialist MPs who have joined Macron’s cause.Monday's announcement came on Macron’s busy first full day in office which will also see him visit German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Like Macron, Mr Philippe is a product of France's elite ENA college for senior public servants.He began his career as a committed Socialist but then became a conservative, after working in the private sector as a lawyer, and as an executive with energy giants Areva.The dad-of-three is known for … [Read more...] about French President Emmanuel Macron names conservative MP Edouard Philippe as new prime minister
Freshly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron announced his pick for prime minister on Monday, his first day on the job. The announcement of the prime minister was expected on Monday morning but was announced by Macron's new general secretary at the Elysee, Alexis Kohler, on Monday afternoon. While the names of the prime minister and cabinet ministers have been announced at the same time in previous presidencies, Macron's prime minister was the only person named on Monday. The naming of the cabinet ministers was delayed until Tuesday. 'Man of the right' Edouard Philippe (pictured above, right) has served as mayor of the northern port city of Le Havre since 2010, but is largely unknown to voters on the national level. The 46-year-old son of two teachers studied at the same universities as Macron and shares many of his political positions. He is known politically for his support of moderate French conservative ex-prime minister Alain Juppe. Philippe's first … [Read more...] about French President Macron names centrist Edouard Philippe as prime minister
All updates in Central European Summer Time (CEST) - British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party has won more seats than any other party in parliament, but has fallen short of a full majority. - The Conservatives are forecast to win 319 seats - short of the 326 needed to form a majority. Labour would have 261 seats, the Scottish National Party 35 and the Liberal Democrats 12. Plaid Cymru in Wales would have 3 seats, the Green Party 1 seat and other parties (principally those in Northern Ireland) 18 seats between them. - The results are a blow to PM May who had been looking for a mandate - and a large majority - for Brexit negotiations. 10:35 Michel Barnier, the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator, said the talks over the terms of Britain's exit from the 28-nation bloc should start "when the UK is ready." 09.59 Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says he is "ready to serve the country." He reiterated his demand that PM Theresa … [Read more...] about +++ Theresa May’s Conservatives lose absolute majority in UK parliamentary elections – live updates +++
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe set out plans including elimination of the top income tax bracket and excluding bonuses for the calculation of severance pay for stockbrokers as part of Paris' plan to welcome financiers and finance companies from London. "You can regret this (Brexit) decision or welcome it, but it's a fact," said Philippe, speaking on the roof of the Monnaie de Paris on Friday, with La Defense financial district behind him in the distance. "You have to deal with it." There has been fierce competition between Paris, Frankfurt and Dublin to attract banks based in the City of London that are concerned that so-called "passport" rights to doing business throughout the EU will be lost after the UK leaves the bloc. Several banks have already announced they are to move their banking activities from London to Frankfurt. Deutsche Bank was reported last week to be moving its investment banking activities from London to Frankfurt. 'Welcome back' Paris regional president … [Read more...] about France lures post-Brexit London banks and finance to Paris
A few weeks after taking office in 1995, French Prime Minister Alain Juppe still had a relatively good approval rating. Immediately after his appointment by new President Jacques Chirac, the prime minister threw himself into what he called his "battle for more jobs." But France's government did not have much money to spread around. Public finances were in the red. With about 3 million people unemployed at the time - and, therefore, fewer and fewer people paying into the system - the deficit was increasing by the day. Juppe had a plan. He wanted to raise the pension age for public sector employees and completely reorganize the social security system. Experts describe it as the biggest change since the safety net was strung in 1945. And the prime minister had the French Democratic Confederation of Labor, a major conglomeration of trade unions, on his side. Within a few weeks, though, the wind changed. Several trade unions organized a general strike, and a large part … [Read more...] about Can France liberalize pensions and labor under Macron?
France's centrist government on Wednesday doubled down on its plans to reform the country's notoriously rigid labor market, a day after nationwide protests against the billbrought much of the country to a standstill. "The French people asked us to transform the country, they asked us to act," Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told broadcaster France 2. "I know that the French people know perfectly well that our country is not in a healthy position." Read more: What are French President Emmanuel Macron's labor reforms Those remarks were echoed later on Wednesday by Work Minister Muriel Penicaud, who said the proposals designed to give employers greater flexibility over hiring and firing stem from a campaign promise made by President Emmanuel Macron. "We are implementing the things that the French people asked us to do, so we're not going to back down," said Muriel in an interview with France's BFM television. Much of France ground to a halt on Tuesday after at least 200,000 … [Read more...] about Macron government shrugs off protests, vows to press on with labor market reforms
Nicolas Hulot, France's most famous environmental activist, is known for making waves. As a famous television personality, he has used his television show as a platform to attack pesticides, nuclear power, and even capitalism as a whole. "Our model is not sustainable," he has declared. Last week, France's new president Emmanuel Macron nominated Hulot, widely known for his nature documentaries, to be the country's next environment minister. It was a surprising name in a list of cabinet nominations that were mostly center-right and market-friendly. Hulot, who supported Macron's far-left rival Jean-Luc Melenchon, has been a noted opponent of free trade deals - something Macron champions. Hulot ran unsuccessfully as a Green political candidate in 2012. He stands in particular contrast to Macron's nominee to be prime minister, the center-right Edouard Philippe. Philippe worked as a lobbyist for French nuclear energy group Areva from 2007 to 2010. Now, companies are scrambling to … [Read more...] about Macron’s new environment chief: Greenwashing or green leading?
France's new government has published the details of a key labor market reform aimed to get the economy back on track. The expected outcry from most of the country's traditionally rather feisty unions has failed to materialize. But economists say this is largely down to the reform plans not going far enough. The country has a history of failed labor market reforms. The latest attempt in line by former Socialist President Francois Hollande in 2016 was met with months of demonstrations and strikes. He had to considerably water down his plans of making the labor law more flexible. But President Emmanuel Macron seems to think that this time is the charm. He sent Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to make this point in Thursday's press conference on the reform. "We have from the beginning and very clearly stated how we would proceed and obtained a large majority for our plans in the legislative elections," he said adding that the government had a clear mandate to "transform" the … [Read more...] about Emmanuel Macron’s labor market reform – uncontroversial and insufficient
British police embarked on a wide manhunt on Friday following a terrorist attack on a London subway train. An improvised device hidden inside a plastic bucket and a supermarket freezer bag exploded inside a packed train carriage, injuring 29 people, mostly with burns. "Clearly, this was a device that was intended to cause significant harm," Prime Minister Theresa May said after calling a meeting of the government's COBRA emergency committee. Read more: Cities struggle for security in light of terrorist attacks Later on Friday, May said the country's threat level had been raised from severe to the highest possible level of critical, which means an attack is expected imminently. "The public will see more armed police on the transport network and on our streets providing extra protection," May said. "This is a proportionate and sensible step which will provide extra reassurance and protection while the investigation progresses." IS claims link The so-called "Islamic State" claimed … [Read more...] about Parsons Green: UK raises terror threat to critical after London terrorist bomb attack
Emmanuel Macron's approval rating slipped 10 points in a month to hit 54 percent, according to an Ifop poll published Sunday in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, which reported that not since Jacques Chirac in 1995 had a newly elected president lost so much ground in such a short time. Worse for Macron, a neoliberal who faced far-right leader Marine Le Pen in May's presidential runoff, just 47 percent of respondents classified their assessment of him as "rather satisfied," down from 54 percent in June, and only 7 percent said they were "very satisfied" - it was 10 percent last month. Forty-three percent of respondents said they were unsatisfied with Macron's performance, up from 35 percent in June, including 15 percent who said they were "very unsatisfied." To Macron's credit, he has had a tough month, including the resignation of General Pierre de Villiers as head of France's armed forces following a public row over military spending cuts. France's youngest-ever … [Read more...] about Poll shows France no longer so sweet on Emmanuel Macron