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France's Macron says European Union treaty change 'not taboo'

France's Macron says European Union treaty change 'not taboo'

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

The far-right National Front party of Marine Le Pen, who was beaten handily by Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential election, has joined the criticism of Macron's appointment of Edouard Philippe as prime minister.

Steeve Briois, who took Le Pen's place as FN leader during her unsuccessful presidential run-off contest against Emmanuel Macron on May 7, welcomed her back to the helm of the anti-European Union, anti-immigration party in a Twitter message.

Noting that Philippe comes from the right of French politics, Melenchon said: "The right has just been annexed, with a prime minister taken from its ranks, from the Republicans".

Elysee secretary-general Alexis Kohler made the announcement on the steps of the presidential Elysee palace.

This month, Macron will also hold talks with Donald Trump, when the USA president visits Brussels for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

Philippe is a close associate of former prime minister Alain Juppe, who leads the moderate wing of The Republicans and has indicated that he favors helping Macron.

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

The worst-case scenario for him would be a strong parliamentary majority for his opponents, dictating his choice of prime minister and limiting his presidency. Philippe's age reinforces the generational shift in France's corridors of power and the image of youthful vigor that Macron is cultivating.

Philippe is the mayor of the Normandy port of Le Havre, a trained lawyer and an author of political thrillers. Juppe welcomed the move, wishing him good luck and telling reporters Philippe has "all the qualities needed for this hard job". Philippe quit that cause when Fillon's campaign was hit by a financial scandal over publicly funded jobs for members of his family.

Mr Macron has promised such reforms as he tries to revive the economy and reduce unemployment, but to realise them his party will need a majority in parliament. She built a solid relationship with Macron's predecessor, Socialist Francois Hollande, despite their political differences - notably with their joint effort to secure an accord to calm the fighting in eastern Ukraine in tense talks in Minsk, Belarus in 2015.

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.

Germany is looking to Macron to revitalize France as an economic power and political heavyweight in the European Union, which is facing complex divorce proceedings with its current No. 2 economy, Britain.

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

The appointment is crucial for Mr Macron, who needs to do well in next month's parliamentary elections to push through his planned economic reforms.

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