Busy day for French president: Names PM, meets with Merkel

The announcement was made on Monday by Alexis Kohler, Macron's new general secretary at the presidential Elysee Palace.

In Le Havre, an important port for container ships on the Channel coast, he has organised an worldwide conference called Positive Economy Forum since 2012.

Philippe is "a prime minister who will bring everyone together around a progressive, daring, unifying programme", said Gerard Collomb, the Socialist mayor of Lyon and one of the earliest backers of Macron.

Mr Berlusconi joked that Mr Macron was a "39-year-old lad, with good work experience under him and most of all with a good looking mom who has carried him under her arm when he was still a child", without mentioning Ms Trogneux's name, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The prime minister's age reinforces the generational shift in France's corridors of power and the image of youthful vigor that Macron is cultivating.

That is crucial because if Mr Macron is to be anything but a lame duck president he needs a working majority in the National Assembly (the parliament).

Mr Juppe said the Mr Philippe was "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job".

A year ago he was part of Juppe's unsuccessful campaign team in The Republicans' primaries, and then joined the presidential campaign of Francois Fillon, the party's nominee. "The heavyweights won't give in", a source close to former prime minister Alain Juppe said.

In a sign of that concern, LR senior lawmaker Francois Baroin disowned party colleague Edouard Philippe for accepting Macron's offer of the job of prime minister on Monday.

Mr Fritch is in Paris and met one of Mr Macron's associates Jean-Paul Delevoye at the headquarters of the En Marche movement.

Germany and France have traditionally been the motor of European integration, but the relationship has become increasingly lopsided in recent years as France struggled economically.

Merkel said it's important for French people, particularly the young, to have more hope of jobs.

Macron has already attracted dozens of Socialist MPs to his side, triggering a major realignment in French politics that has left the traditional parties floundering.

She said it was an honor that Macron chose to visit Berlin during his first full day in office, and said the countries' ministers would meet after an upcoming French legislative vote.

Mr Macron added, however, that "what I know is that we have investments to make (in Europe), and so we have to work on investment mechanisms for the future".

Potential ministers are rumored to include, TV personality Nicolas Hulot, Axelle Tessandier, center-right European lawmaker Sylvie Goulard and prominent centrist party leader Francois Bayrou. But he added that if LR and its allies did not win a majority in June, voters "would not understand if we systematically opposed everything". Macron has never held elected office and was largely unknown until about a year ago.

Macron's trip to Berlin, his first as president, signals his intent to also move rapidly on campaign promises to revive support for the European Union by reforming and strengthening it.

The fervently pro-European Macron also said he would help rebuild the flagging European Union.

  • Zachary Reyes