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Macron Acts to Recast French Presidency as Government Resigns

Macron Acts to Recast French Presidency as Government Resigns
folder_openEurope... access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and his government resigned on Friday as President Emmanuel Macron acted on a pledge to reinvent his administration and win back disillusioned voters ahead of a possible re-election bid in 2022.

Macron is reshaping his government as the country grapples with the deepest economic depression since World War Two, a sharp downturn that will shrink the economy by about 11% in 2020 and reverse hard-fought gains on unemployment.

Investors, meanwhile, will be watching to see if Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who has overseen reforms to liberalize the economy and spent big to keep companies like Air France [AIRF.PA] and Renault [RENA.PA] afloat during the crisis, keeps his job.

“The return from summer holidays will be difficult, we must get ready,” Macron told regional newspapers in an interview published late on Thursday.

Macron’s office said a replacement for Philippe would be named within hours. A source familiar with Macron’s thinking said the president would not reappoint his prime minister, as can sometimes happen in French reshuffles.

Questions over Philippe’s job have swirled since mid-June when Macron, whose term has less than two years to run, declared he wanted to recast his presidency as France emerges from the coronavirus crisis.

“A new phase begins with new talents and new ways of running government,” an Elysee official told Reuters.