Macron names Jean Castex as new French prime minister
French president Emmanuel Macron has named Jean Castex, a low-key centre-right bureaucrat, as his new prime minister for the last two years of his term.Mr Castex, who was appointed recently by Mr Macron to organise France’s exit from its coronavirus lockdown, is expected to have a lower political profile than his predecessor, the increasingly popular Edouard Philippe, who helped the president implement his ambitious economic reform programme after his election in 2017.One senior French official described the 55-year-old Mr Castex as the ideal “Macronian” choice, because he is both a respected high-level civil servant with government experience and an elected mayor of a small town in the foothills of the Pyrenees.“He knows the arcane workings of Paris, but is also rooted locally in the countryside,” the official said. “He’s someone who comes from the right, but is a ‘social Gaullist’”. The departing Mr Philippe is also from the centre-right of French politics.Mr Macron, who won the presidency on a liberal political platform he said was “neither right nor left”, is eager to relaunch his mandate ahead of the next presidential and legislative elections in 2022.
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