Castex takes helm of Macron's new cabinet

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 4, 2020
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PARIS, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Jean Castex, who was named as new French prime minister on Friday, announced at the handover ceremony that "a new stage in the mandate begins."

Castex, a top civil servant and mayor of small commune in southern France, appeared at a handover ceremony with outgoing prime minister Edouard Philippe.

"It is very largely dictated by a new, heavy and difficult context. The health crisis is unfortunately not over...The economic and social crisis is already here," he said.

"Priorities and methods will have to be adapted. We will have more than ever to unite the nation to fight the crisis that is setting in and to pursue fundamental reforms to emerge stronger and more united," he added.

Castex, 55, has orchestrated the government strategy to exit from the coronavirus lockdown. He had worked as high-rank officials at several ministries, served as adviser for former president Nicolas Sarkozy and worked as assistant general secretary (the second highest ranking official) of the Elysee Palace between 2011 and 2012.

"Jean Castex is an all-around senior civil servant who will be keen to reform the state and conduct a peaceful dialogue with the territories," RTL radio cited a source from the Elysee as saying.

"He is right for the job. He is perfectly experienced in the mysteries of Paris and an expert on local and territorial realities," it added.

In an interview with regional media published late on Thursday, the French president warned that the period after the government's summer break would be "very hard."

An overhaul of the executive staff is expected before Wednesday's weekly cabinet meeting. Enditem

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