Emmanuel Macron selects Edouard Philippe as French PM

Macron previously met Merkel when he visited Berlin in March as a candidate.

Edouard Philippe, 46, a lawmaker and mayor of the port city of Le Havre, is from the moderate wing of the main centre-right party, The Republicans, and will provide a counterweight to former Socialist members of parliament who have joined Macron's cause.

A staunch European integrationist, Macron pledged after taking office on Sunday to restore France's standing on the world stage, strengthen national self-confidence and heal divisions that the bitterly fought presidential campaign had opened up.

The new prime minister has co-authored two political thrillers: L'Heure de vérité (The Hour of Truth) and Dans l'ombre (In the Shadows).

Previous year he was part of Juppe's unsuccessful campaign team in The Republicans' primaries, and then joined the presidential campaign of Francois Fillon, the party's nominee.

Asked whether le Pen would now stand for election as a member of parliament in June, FN secretary general Nicolas Bay told a news conference: "I won't announce anything today, it is for Marine Le Pen to do that".

Emmanuel Macron earlier said that Europe's close postwar cooperation with the United States "made it possible for us to preserve peace and face up to the Communist threat".

German media, including influential tabloid Bild and news magazine Der Spiegel, have recently drawn attention to the danger of Macron's presidency costing Germany more money.

He is close to Alain Juppe, a former prime minister who campaigned for the French presidency, but was beaten in a primary.

Melenchon got almost 20 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election.

Voters go to polls again in June to elect 577 National Assembly lawmakers.

Reacting to Philippe's appointment Monday by President Emmanuel Macron, Juppe called the new prime minister "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job".

Philippe, from the mainstream right, and his Socialist predecessor, Bernard Cazeneuve, had only kind words for each other at their handover Monday of the prime minister's office. Philippe's age reinforces the generational shift in France's corridors of power and the image of youthful vigor that Macron is cultivating. Germany and France are the traditional motor of European integration.

"There's no sense for a Socialist to work against Emmanuel Macron".

Showing more solidarity with Germany on the migrant crisis and insisting a cut in French public spending is an integral part of his manifesto would also be mentioned as gestures of goodwill towards Berlin, the source said.

Merkel has praised Macron's embrace of European unity but has offered few concrete details about the way forward for German-French relations.

Mr Macron has kept his choice of prime minister a closely guarded secret, but the BBC's Hugh Schofield in Paris says the candidate most hotly tipped is Édouard Philippe, the mayor of Le Havre.

Mr Macron's trip to Berlin, his first as president, signals his intent to also move rapidly on campaign promises to revive support for the European Union by reforming and strengthening it.

  • Jon Douglas