With Merkel and PM, France's new president wastes no time

"Not because Europe requests it, but because France needs it".

Merkel and Macron met in Berlin in March during the French presidential campaign, but Monday's talks mark their first meeting since his election. Merkel called Macron's visit an honor and a sign of the deep friendship between the two European powerhouses.

Macron traveled to Berlin a day after being sworn in, continuing a tradition of French presidents making their first foreign trip to Germany. Macron's direct predecessor Francois Hollande, a self-styled "Normal President", meanwhile came under fire for paying almost 10,000 euros a month to his hairdresser.

A large group of onlookers, some carrying European flags, stood outside the chancellery as Macron arrived.

Philippe is a close associate of former prime minister Alain Juppe, who leads the moderate wing of The Republicans and has indicated that he favours helping Macron.

Despite her crushing defeat to Macron, Le Pen is counting on her record high voter count — more than 10.6 million — to propel her party into parliament, as well as bidding to take in "electoral orphans" unsatisfied by Macron and feeling betrayed by the mainstream right, Bay said.

He can deal with both the left and the right parties, because he has worked with both [he participated in the campaign of Michel Rocard (socialist party), the prime minister under Francois Mitterrand].

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Republicans secretary general Bernard Accoyer said the move had created "ambiguity" over what political line Mr Philippe would follow. He represented the Socialist Party in his early career but has gradually shifted to the right. "Don't give full powers to Mr. Macron and his prime minister". I want Emmanuel Macron, his government and his majority to succeed, for France.

The new prime minister, Edouard Philippe, comes from the centre-right Republicans, who are running against Emmanuel Macron's party in next month's parliamentary elections.

Reacting to Philippe's appointment Monday by President Emmanuel Macron, Juppe called the new prime minister "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job". He accompanied Juppe in the creation of the UMP party (now The Republicans) and served as the party's director of services until 2004.

Mr Philippe quit that cause when the financial scandal over fake jobs for Mr Fillon's family hit his campaign.

The 39-year-old has appointed Alexis Kohler, who was his chief of staff when he was economy minister, as his secretary general.

Philippe is mayor of the gritty northern port of Le Havre and an MP for the region since 2012 who studied at the same universities as Macron and shares many of his views on the economy and social issues.

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