Reshuffle: A New Government Formed by Jean Castex “As Soon As Possible”

General News
The new Prime Minister Jean Castex during the transfer of power to the Matignon hotel, July 3, 2020.

The new Prime Minister Jean Castex said, Friday evening, want to do “everything to” form his government before Monday with Emmanuel Macron. Objective: revive the economy.

The new Prime Minister Jean Castex intends, with Emmanuel Macron, to form “as soon as possible” a government to apply a recovery plan in the face of the economic and social crisis, before the presidential election of 2022.

“The philosophy of this government is operational, that is to say, it is necessary to act, to work quickly, in a context of crisis”, said Friday evening on TF1 the senior official hitherto unknown to the great public who was deputy secretary-general of the Elysee Palace under Nicolas Sarkozy and who has just left the Republicans.

The former “Mister deconfinement” said he wanted to do “everything to” form his government before Monday with the Head of State, and make his general policy statement “mid-next week” in parliament whose work is for the hour suspended from the new government team.

A “far-reaching” reshuffle

This reshuffle promises to be “large-scale”, according to the entourage of Emmanuel Macron who said that there would be “new talents” and “personalities from different backgrounds”.

The choice as head of government of a “techno” profile, elected local in Prades (Pyrénées-Orientales) and high official, gives the head of state a free hand, after three years of cordial agreement with Edouard Philippe who took growing weight in government strategy and public opinion. And while there were more and more marked dissensions, notably for pension reform.

“I am not here to seek light, I am here to seek results”, assured the new Prime Minister.

Former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe applauds his successor Jean Castex, in the courtyard of the Hotel Matignon, on July 3, 2020.
Former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe applauds his successor Jean Castex, in the courtyard of the Hotel Matignon, on July 3, 2020. (© POOL / AFP / Thomas SAMSON)

Develop a “new social pact”

While a “very hard” return to the economic and social front is looming , Jean Castex will be responsible for applying the “new path” wanted by the Head of State, with priority to health policy, at old age and a plan for youth, and the resumption of the pension reform.

The Castex method? “Open consultations (…) with the Nation, with the social partners, in the territories, with all the actors to associate as much as possible in the search for solutions” and develop a “new social pact”.

“When we are in crisis, we must continue to support the economy, but we must make wise choices, oriented choices, that is to say choices that allow us to rebuild, to gain economic sovereignty, to have a more economical France from the point of view of respect for the environment, therefore both emergency measures and structural measures: this is the axis of the recovery plan that we are preparing, “he said. 

Ecology is “no longer an option”

After the municipal elections marked by a strong push from the Greens, he said that ecology was “no longer an option”.

Emmanuel Macron “recruits his colleagues from the old world”, tackled Friday evening the head of EELV Julien Bayou, again excluding any entry of EELV to the government. “Our objective is to replace (Emmanuel Macron) and not to serve him as a crutch”.

“We have a man on the right replaced by a man even more to the right,” lambasted Olivier Faure (PS) on Saturday.

Another right-wing Prime Minister

“At the end of the municipal elections, France is on the right, so the President of the Republic has chosen a right-wing Prime Minister,” said Franck Louvrier, a former adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy.

Right, LR, who loses a new defector after Edouard Philippe, Bruno Le Maire or Gérald Darmanin, especially wants to see in Jean Castex a “technocratic” choice, according to the head of the Republicans Christian Jacob.

“You would be mistaken in thinking that Emmanuel Macron chose a right-wing man. He made the choice of someone who cannot overshadow him in the executive duo, ”said MP LR Julien Aubert on Saturday.

LR Vice President Gilles Platret warns of future government recruitment attempts, calling for “no.” The courage to step aside so as not to deny yourself ”.

Edouard Philippe, who found the town hall of Le Havre on Sunday, agreed to “help the president” to “consolidate the majority”, weakened by the loss of the absolute majority in the Assembly, internal disputes and a fiasco in the elections municipal for LREM.

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