Macron Begins Government Reshuffle 10/16 06:17
PARIS (AP) -- French president Emmanuel Macron has appointed a high-profile
political ally to the key post of interior minister during a limited cabinet
reshuffle aimed at preparing for upcoming economic and social reforms.
Christophe Castaner, 52, who heads Macron's party La Republique en Marche
(Republic on the Move), replaces Gerard Collomb who resigned two weeks ago to
run for mayor of the city of Lyon.
Four other government members were replaced during Tuesday's reshuffle,
including the culture and agriculture ministers. The key members of the
government, including the finance and foreign affairs ministers, retained their
Macron also appointed new junior ministers focusing mainly on economic
matters and fighting poverty.
The new jobs mean the size of the government expands to 34 members, split
equally between men and women, from 29 before --- excluding Prime Minister
The reshuffle is seen as an attempt by Macron to regain the initiative
following a period during which he has seen his popularity plummet and three
ministers, including Collomb, resign.
Macron's office said the changes are intended to accompany further reforms.
Macron, who was elected last year on a platform to reform the French economy,
has pledged to make changes to unemployment benefits and streamline the pension
system by next summer.
Often perceived as a "president of the rich" for cutting taxes on the
wealthy and pushing pro-business policies that favor investors and
entrepreneurs, Macron is increasingly described by opponents as arrogant and
Macron created a new job of junior minister at the solidarity and health
ministry that will focus on the fight against poverty. The finance ministry is
strengthened with junior ministers focusing on industry policy and the digital
economy. The position of junior minister for gender equality Marlene Schiappa
is enlarged to include all fights against discrimination.
The chief of France's domestic intelligence service Laurent Nunez was also
named as a junior interior minister.