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Saturday, 02 July 2022
Emmanuel Macron decides on continuity in government reshuffle
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes a guest at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 16, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

President Emmanuel Macron on Friday (May 20) named France’s current ambassador to Britain, career diplomat Catherine Colonna, as the country’s new foreign minister, the Elysee said as part of a government remodel following his re-election in April.

On Monday (May 16), Macron named Elisabeth Borne as prime minister. The left-leaning career technocrat served in his earlier governments, most recently as labour minister, when she stared down trade unions over unemployment benefit reform.

Current Finance and Economy minister Bruno Le Maire and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin will keep their jobs, the Elysee’s secretary general added as he read out the new names standing on the palace’s front stairway, confirming earlier reports.

The Elysee said, outgoing Industry Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher will take over a newly created ministerial portfolio for “energy transition."

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte react as they pose for a picture, in Vilnius, Lithuania September 28, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

They will report to Elisabeth Borne, 61, a soft-spoken, left-leaning career bureaucrat who Macron on Monday picked as his new prime minister, only the second woman to get the job.

France re-elects President Emmanuel Macron for a second term

France heads into June's parliamentary elections as Europe grapples with a war on its eastern flank that has stunted a post-pandemic economic recovery and exacerbated a sharp acceleration in consumer price rises across the euro zone.

If Macron wins the legislature, his government's priorities will also include action to combat climate change and pushing back the retirement age - a task likely to fall to new Labour Minister Olivier Dussopt.

Emmanuel Macron names first French female PM in over 30 years

Although polls show Macron should be able to form a ruling majority, he is under pressure from an alliance of left-wing parties and re-energised far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Should Macron and his allies lose the parliamentary election, he will have to name a new prime minister from the ruling majority who will then be tasked with naming a new cabinet.