Macron ousted interior minister after police protests

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PARIS (AP) – French President Emmanuel Macron ousted his interior minister as part of a government overhaul Monday after the protests against police brutality.

The reshuffle aims to shift government attention to the post-virus economic recovery during the last two years of Macron’s tenure.

Former Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin has been appointed to replace Christophe Castaner, who had been shot in the middle of French protests against racial injustice and police violence caused by the death of George Floyd in the United States.

Castaner announced a ban on police restrictions in response, but then backed away from counter demonstrations and pressure from police unions. He also launched an experiment with the expanded use of the Taser.

Macron replaced the minister of ecology, an absolute priority for his presidency, but did not change the finance or health ministers, essential to help France weather the virus crisis and recession, or the ministers foreign affairs and defense.

THIS IS A NEWS UPDATE. The previous history of AP follows below.

PARIS (AP) – President Emmanuel Macron promises that a new French government to be appointed later on Monday will be “of purpose and unity”.

The French leader launched a series of tweets on Sunday evening as he prepares with a new government team for the last two years of his five-year term.

Macron left Prime Minister Edouard Philippe last week, who guided France through the coronavirus lockdown and the first three years of Macron’s presidency.

The new Prime Minister, Jean Castex, is a career civil servant without ministerial experience. His low profile suggests that Macron does not want to be overshadowed if he chooses to run again in 2022. The 42-year-old Macron has not yet said if he will seek a second term.

Macron tweeted that the platform on which he stood in 2017, promising to modernize France and liberate its companies, remains at the heart of his policy but “must adapt to the upheavals and international crises we are going through: a new path must be traced. “

The first of the priorities that Macron has listed for the coming months is to help the French economy recover from the wounds of the pandemic.

He did not give details on the policy.

According to information published in the French media, a government reshuffled of about twenty ministers would be appointed Monday to work with Castex.

Castex, 55, recently coordinated the step-by-step approach that France adopted after breaking its strict two-month lockout against coronaviruses.

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