For weeks, speculation about the fate of Mr. Philippe, who has served exceptionally long period for a prime minister of france — had swirled in the media and in policy circles.
Mr. Macron had been expected to reorganize his cabinet after the coronavirus was a serious blow to France, in the hope of giving his government a new mandate in the last stretch of a five-year term, which ends in 2022.
“There was a new signal, a new conquest of france, because we have lost many,” said Patrick Vignal, a parliamentary deputy Mr. Macron party in the south of France. “So, Emmanuel Macron has reason to turn the tables and name a new prime minister.”
Mr. Grunberg noted that the surveys suggested Mr. Philippe may be the only political figure with enough quality to take on Mr. Macron in two years. Not one other serious potential challenger has emerged on either the right or the left.
Yet, by the story of the Elysée palace, the seat of the French presidency, the parting was warm, and the choice of Mr. Castex, a natural one, as it was regarded as transcending the left-right divide, an intense concentration of Mr Macron.
Mr. Castex, 55 years old, is a graduate of the same elite from the end of the school for the technocrats, the E. N. A., or the National Management School, at the same time as Mr. Macron and Mr. Philippe. However, Mr. Macron’s fans, Friday, portrays Mr. Castex as a son of the earth.
“Jean Castex represents the Old rural World of the elected official who has had to deal with real problems,” Mr. Vignal said. “He is a graduate of the E. N. A., that’s for sure, but he has the feet in the mud and head in the stars.”