The Asian Age - - World -

Paris, July 3: French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron on Fri­day named Jean Cas­tex, who co­or­di­nated France’s virus re­open­ing strat­egy, as the coun­try’s new prime min­is­ter.

The rel­a­tively low-pro­file Cas­tex re­places Edouard Philippe, who re­signed ear­lier in the day. Macron is reshuf­fling the gov­ern­ment to fo­cus on restart­ing the econ­omy af­ter months of lock­down.

Cas­tex, 55, is a ca­reer pub­lic ser­vant who has worked with mul­ti­ple gov­ern­ments. France’s grad­ual re­open­ing plan has been seen as gen­er­ally suc­cess­ful so far. Many gov­ern­ment mem­bers are ex­pected to be re­placed in the reshuf­fle.

In an in­ter­view given to sev­eral lo­cal news­pa­pers on Thurs­day, Macron, said he is seek­ing a “new path” to re­build the coun­try for the two re­main­ing years of his term.

He praised Philippe’s “out­stand­ing work” in the past three years. “I will need to make choices to lead (the coun­try) down the path,” he said. The reshuf­fle comes days af­ter a green wave swept over France in lo­cal elec­tions. — AP

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