The French government, led by Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, is leaving.
Jean Castex (55) has been appointed new Prime Minister of France. He has been responsible for important parts of the government’s handling of the corona crisis.
The new prime minister will then appoint new prime ministers in no time.
Castex comes from the moderate right wing in French politics, and was appointed by his predecessor to deal with the corona crisis earlier this spring. He is the mayor of Prades in the south of France. Jean Castex is not a very well-known political figure at national level in France, but he has been lauded for his work on the gradual reopening of France.
The future of Prime Minister Edouard Phillips as head of government has been the subject of speculation for several weeks. President Emmanuel Macron has announced that he will “reinvent” his policies until the next presidential election in 2022.
The president has struggled with weak opinion polls in the wake of the corona crisis, while the resigned prime minister has, however, strengthened his position. Many French have appreciated Phillip’s factual, subdued style during the crisis.
A new start
The relationship between the two top politicians has been increasingly characterized by conflicts and disagreements. The controversy has dealt with several of the most pervasive issues that have characterized Macron’s time as president, including the disputed fuel taxes, which were a major cause of the Yellow West uprising. However, in an interview with French regional newspapers earlier this week, President Macron said he appreciated Philip’s efforts. He also emphasized that the two have had a relationship characterized by trust.
It is not uncommon for the French president to replace the prime minister after a crisis, to get a fresh start. After the Greens made a brilliant local election June 29 this year, it has been speculated whether President Macron would use this opportunity for a green change of government when he now appoints Phillip’s successor.
Instead, it became a candidate from the moderate right-wing party that will lead the French government towards 2022.
Philippe who challenges
Édouard Philippe has been prime minister of France since May 2017. He belonged to the bourgeois Republican Party when he was appointed, but has since left the party. Phillippe was re-elected as mayor of Le Havre after a very convincing result in the French local elections last week.
It is possible to imagine that 49-year-old Philippe will use the position of mayor as a freer platform to become a challenger to Emmanuel Macron in the two-year presidential election.