Macron wins Merkel backing for bid to shake up Europe

Macron made his first trip as president to Berlin on Monday for talks with Merkel on reinvigorating German-French ties, strengthening the European Union and boosting investment within the euro area.

It's a delicate balancing act, as Macron tries to redesign French politics by borrowing ministers from left and right and new faces.

Germany and France plan to closely cooperate while the European Union is going through critical times, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference following talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, TASS reported.

But Macron's office said the government line-up would not be unveiled until 3:00pm (1300 GMT) on Wednesday.

She told Macron during his first foreign visit as president Monday that "Europe will only do well if there is a strong France, and I am committed to that".

He won his campaign as an independent, with the backing of a fledgling political party he founded less than a year ago.

His appointment was seen as a strategic move by Macron, who is trying to woo modernisers of all stripes to his new centrist party, the République en Marche (Republic on the Move, REM), having already won over dozens of moderate Socialist MPs.

Mr Philippe is a member of the mainstream-right Republicans party and could possibly attract other Republicans to Mr Macron's cause, as the centrist president works to piece together a majority in parliament to pass his promised economic reforms.

Philippe - a moderate member of the Republicans party - is seen as Macron's Trojan horse on the right.

"On the other hand, Macron's style suits the Chancellor".

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For interior minister, Macron picked Gerard Collomb, the mayor of Lyon who was one of the first Socialists to support him.

Le Drian is expected to be the only survivor from Francois Hollande's little-loved Socialist government. French Olympic fencer Laura Flessel was named sports minister while Nicolas Hulot, a well-known environmentalist, was named as ecology minister.

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

Back in Paris, Mr Macron spent yesterday selecting his Cabinet with new Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

In her first public appearance since her crushing May 7 defeat in the presidential election, Le Pen said in a television interview on Thursday that she will run to represent her northern bastion of Henin-Beaumont.

Merkel said at an event with worldwide labor union officials in Berlin that "if the British government says that free movement of people is no longer valid, that will have its price in relations with Britain".

Speaking at the press conference after the meeting, Merkel said: "We agreed that we want to develop a roadmap for the European Union's medium-term perspectives".

"In the past, the subject of treaty change was a French taboo".

"Don't give full powers to Mr Macron and his prime minister".

  • Adam Floyd