French right torn apart as Macron, PM prepare to name government

New French President Emmanuel Macron waves to supporters after a ceremony at the Arc of Triomphe following his formal inauguration ceremony as French President Sunday

French right torn apart as Macron, PM prepare to name government

A call to support the political project of French President Emmanuel Macron is causing disarray among conservatives as Mr Macron prepares to unveil his new cabinet.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, 69, former defence minister under former president Francois Hollande, stays on in Mr Macron's government as foreign minister and Europe minister.

Macron's pick for the crucial economy and finance ministry was Bruno Le Maire, a pro-European free-marketeer and a heavyweight from Philippe's The Republicans (LR) party.

Along with politicians, the government will feature new faces from civil society, including black Olympic fencing champion Laura Flessel, renowned environmentalist Nicolas Hulot and publisher Francoise Nyssen.

Nicolas Hulot is a prominent environmental campaigner and documentary journalist whose television series promotes environmentalism while showing off attractive landscapes.

The most senior Cabinet job - the post of interior minister - went to Gerard Collomb, 69, the long-time Socialist mayor of Lyon who played a key role in Macron's presidential bid.

Meanwhile, tensions have arisen over Macron's policies on media access, recalling similar conflicts over coverage of Donald Trump's presidency in the U.S.

France's new president has assembled his cabinet with figures from the left and right.

Elysee Palace secretary general Alexis Kohler concluded the announcement by saying that Macron would hold his first government meeting on Thursday.

Macron's party is not expected to win the legislative elections in June outright.

"The main objective of this provisional government of confusion is to blur the French's guide lines during the campaign of the parliamentary elections", said Bernard Accoyer secretary-general of the center-right "The Republicans" party.

Macron, who ran a staunchly pro-European campaign, kept with tradition by visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday in his first trip overseas after taking office.

The 52-year-old German-speaker is a prominent pro-Europe politician and was elected a member of the European parliament in 2009.

Looking ahead to her meeting with Macron, she added: "I will say first let us have openness, to find things in common, and not start with everything that can't be done".

A few hours after taking office, Collomb made an unexpected visit to Paris' grand Champs-Elysees avenue, where a police officer was shot to death by an Islamic extremist last month.

Macron is especially looking for more potential support from the moderate wing of the right - a fact that the mainstream right party, the Republicans, sorely resents since its members believe he is trying to split the party and steal voters by pulling away its moderates.

The choice of Philippe is aimed at drawing more defectors from The Republicans, in the same way as Macron's decision not to put up an REM candidate in Manuel Valls' constituency pulls the Socialist former prime minister closer, and makes it hard for a divided left to re-unite.

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