France's Macron appoints new government for 2nd term

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a new Cabinet

Via AP news wire
Friday 20 May 2022 16:22

French President Emmanuel Macron announced a new-look Cabinet on Friday, with a new foreign minister part of the reshuffled line-up behind France’s first female prime minister in 30 years.

Three senior ministers — Gérald Darmanin at the interior ministry, Bruno Le Maire for economics and Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti — all survived the extensive shake-up as the centrist Macron embarked on his second term.

Catherine Colonna, a career diplomat and, most recently, France’s ambassador to Britain, takes over the foreign affairs portfolio as France is deeply engaged in international efforts to support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion and isolate the Kremlin.

Led by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who was named Monday, the new Cabinet’s top priority will be trying to secure the parliamentary majority that Macron needs to implement the policy proposals he campaigned on in last month’s presidential election.

France's parliamentary election to determine seats in the National Assembly is being held over two rounds of voting in June and parties on both the far-left and the far-right are trying to reduce Macron’s centrist majority.

The Cabinet appointments were announced by Macron’s office in a statement read aloud by an aide on the stairs of the presidential Elysee Palace, in keeping with tradition.

Black French scholar Pap Ndiaye, an expert on U.S. minority rights movements, was named France's new education minister. Ndiaye was previously in charge of France’s state-run immigration museum.

In an Associated Press interview last year, Ndiaye said France has to fight racial justice by confronting its often-violent colonial past, noting that “the French are highly reluctant to look at the dark dimensions of their own history.”

Colonna replaces Jean-Yves Le Drian, Macron’s foreign minister throughout his first term. She is the first woman to head the Quai d’Orsay, the plush headquarters of French diplomacy on the banks of the Seine River, since Michèle Alliot-Marie’s short stint as foreign minister ended in February 2011.

The new French government also has a new spokesperson, Olivia Grégoire. The former junior minister replaces Gabriel Attal and will be one of the new administration’s most visible members.

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