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French President Macron appoints Jean Castex as new Prime Minister

The 55-year-old public servant, who is set to replace Philippe as Prime Minister, is widely known in French media as ‘monsieur déconfinement’, or ‘Mr Deconfinement’, for his pivotal role in drafting the strategy to lift lockdown measures in the country.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
July 3, 2020 5:56:21 pm
FILE – In this May 19, 2020 file photo, Jean Castex leaves after a videoconference with the French President and French mayors at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool via AP, File)

French President Emmanuel Macron Friday named top-level civil servant Jean Castex as the next Prime Minister of the country as part of a government reshuffle. This comes hours after former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe tendered his resignation earlier today.

“The president of the Republic has named Jean Castex as prime minister and mandated him to form a government,” an official statement from the Elysee Palace read.

The 55-year-old public servant, who is set to replace Philippe as Prime Minister, is widely known in French media as ‘monsieur déconfinement’, or ‘Mr Deconfinement’, for his pivotal role in drafting the strategy to lift lockdown measures in the country.

Castex’ name is lesser known as he has never served as a minister in government. However, he has previously worked as an advisor to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who lost to Francois Hollande in the 2012 elections. He has been hailed an expert in the field of health, and has several years of experience working in France’s Health Ministry.

The French government announced on Friday that Philippe had submitted his resignation, but would remain an interim head of government until President Macron named his successor.

“Mr Édouard Philippe has today handed his resignation from the government to the president of the republic who has accepted it. He will remain, with other members of the government, to deal with current matters until the nomination of a new government,” an official statement read.

Philippe was appointed Prime Minister in 2017 soon after Macron won the presidential election. The recent government reshuffling is said to be part of Macron’s pledge to reinvent his administration, after facing brutal losses in the nationwide municipal elections last month.

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