Macron to unveil first French government

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron at the Chancellery in Berlin on Monday. Macron and Merkel have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the European Union and Merkel strongly applauded Macron's ele

After the independent Macron trounced establishment parties in the presidential election, the government is expected to be carefully balanced between left and right, women and men, new faces and political heavyweights.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, whom Macron named on Monday, will lead the government, at least until the parliamentary elections scheduled for June.

But the economic portfolios won by the ministers from the centre-right Les Republicains party will further worry a left which already fears the liberalizing measures promised by Macron.

There has been widespread speculation about whether other young modernisers from the centre-right such as Bruno Le Maire or Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet could follow suit and join the government.

Other political novices included, as sports minister, Olympic fencing gold medallist Laura Flessel, a 45-year-old native of the French Caribbean region of Guadeloupe.

Among the non-politicians to be offered roles is well-known environmentalist Nicolas Hulot, a source in the presidency said.

Penicaud will be charged with pushing through Macron's pledges to make the labour code more flexible, and is likely to run into swift opposition from trade unions.

Juppe said he would be backing LR lawmakers in the mid-June elections, and not Macron's candidates.

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Appearing earlier at a handover ceremony with outgoing Socialist prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who is also from Normandy, Philippe joked that Normans were "aggressively moderate" as well as "conquerors". He has since 2001 been major of Lyon - France's third biggest city. He was the first major Socialist politician to decide to back Macron's presidential bid.

Another appointment with a clear pro-EU tint was that of close Macron ally Sylvie Goulard, a liberal member of the European parliament, who succeeded Le Drian in the Defence Ministry.

The newly appointed Elysee secretary general, ( the state house) Alexis Kohler, presented the list of Macron's new cabinet ministers in the capital Paris on Wednesday afternoon.

They range from quirky to obscure to old-school: math genius Cedric Villani; former train and subway boss Anne-Marie Idrac; Axelle Tessandier, who created a startup in San Francisco before joining Macron's campaign; and a string of former ministers in Socialist and conservative governments.

Macron made the transition to a green economy one of the main planks of his manifesto, though he did not address the issue much on the stumps.

He supervised French military operations in Mali, Central African Republic, Iraq and Syria. She started her professional career at the French Foreign Affairs Ministry, where she was a member of the team that negotiated the consequences of Germany's reunification in 1989-1990.

She also worked as a political adviser to Italian politician Romano Prodi when he was president of the European Commission from 2001 to 2004.

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