Pope sends congratulations to new French leader

Shortly after Philippe's appointment, Macron was scheduled to travel to Berlin on his first foreign trip as French leader.

Taking power on May 14, France's youngest president in the country's modern history is set to name 15 ministers with different political backgrounds in addition to new comers from the civil society in a bid to deliver on his campaign's promise to renew the political landscape to defend the French interest at home and overseas, according to local reports.

On his first full day in office and shortly after naming his new prime ministerEdouard Philippe, Macron made his first global trip as French president to Germany, meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

"He always said his government will have gender parity with people from various political backgrounds and from civil society", Mr Richard Ferrand, Mr Macron's campaign chief, said on France Inter on Tuesday.

So far his appointments to his presidential team have all been men under 50, a lot of them graduates like him of France's elite ENA college for senior public servants, which has turned out generations of French politicians.

Appointing Philippe to the top job in his government ticked several boxes for 39-year-old Macron, France's youngest president, who took power on Sunday.

The rest of the government is expected to be announced on late on Tuesday.

He needs to win over part of the left and the right to deliver on his promise of a cross-party approach and weaken his opponents ahead of the two-round June 11-18 parliamentary vote.

The 46-year-old lawmaker, largely unknown to voters, is a member of the mainstream-right Republicans party that was badly battered by Macron's victory in the presidential campaign.

The divide-and-conquer tactics by the centrist Macron, elected on May 7, are spreading alarm in the Socialist party and the conservative Republicans (LR), both of which are still licking their wounds after their presidential defeat.

By appointing him, Macron has passed over some loyal followers including Richard Ferrand, a former Socialist who was one of the first to join Macron's cause previous year and is secretary general of REM.

The new government is expected to be half women, and with about half the number of ministers former president Francois Hollande's cabinet had.

Hulot, who has previously turned down such offers, had "decided to go for it", provided certain conditions were met, the source said.

A day after his inauguration, the fervently pro-EU Macron made his first trip overseas to Germany, the other half of the power couple driving European integration.

Macron has urged a reconstruction of the European Union to fight off a recent surge of populism on the continent.

Mr Macron said that he would work with Mrs Merkel on a "road map", and that they needed to work on "deep reforms that are necessary and need common work".

Another conservative Gerald Darmanin, was appointed budget minister.

  • Zachary Reyes