New French government takes office at difficult time | Voice of america

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PARIS – The newly appointed French government is getting to work this week facing major challenges, including the coronavirus and the economic crisis – not to mention the legislative elections in less than two years.The new government takes office just over a week after President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic on the Move party had a poor result in the second round of local elections.

New French Prime Minister Jean Castex arrives at the Elysée Palace for the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris on July 7, 2020.

It is headed by Prime Minister Jean Castex, a little-known former mayor of the Pyrenees. He got the title of “Mr. Deconfinement ”after managing the emergence of France from the closure of the coronavirus. He replaces the popular Edouard Philippe, a possible challenger to Macron in the next elections.

“President Macron has one goal: to fight the recession, transform the country, be in better shape than now for the next presidential election,” said Ulysse Gosset, political commentator for the French BFMTV.

“The job of the new prime minister is to carry out Macron’s orders,” added Gosset. “He has to face the crisis. And no more. Macron does not want a Prime Minister who could be a competitor like former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. ”

Making more waves is the new Minister of the Interior, Gérard Darmanin. At 35, he is the youngest Minister of the Interior of the Fifth French Republic. He takes over at a time when the police are demoralized and face allegations of racism and brutality.

The new French Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, arrives to attend the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysée Palace in Paris, July 7, 2020.

Darmanin himself faces a preliminary investigation into a rape charge, which, according to Macron’s office, did not preclude his appointment.

The police unions offered a discreet reaction to their new boss. But some feminists demonstrated outside the presidential palace of the Elysée.

The new Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti, is also controversial. He acquired the reputation of a pugnacious lawyer defending Corsican nationalists, African politicians and the founder of Wikileaks Julien Assange. A union judge criticized his appointment as a “declaration of war” against the judiciary.

Macron’s revamped government faces strong pressure to take environmental action after the Green Party burst into municipal elections.

Barbara Pompili, newly appointed French Minister for the Ecological Transition, arrives to attend the weekly cabinet meeting in…
Barbara Pompili, newly appointed French Minister for the Ecological Transition, arrives to attend the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysée in Paris, July 7, 2020.

The new minister for ecological transition, Barbara Pompili, co-founded an environmental party and was a former secretary of state for biodiversity. But it is not a big name, and it will face careful consideration of how it manages emission reductions and other green targets.

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