What is behind Macron's choice of PM?

France's new President Macron appointed Edouard Philippe as prime minister on Monday. Although he is a member of the conservative Republicans, like Macron the relatively unknown mayor of Le Havre attended the elite ENA school and he is said to share many of the president's views. Commentators take a closer look at the new PM.

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Die Tageszeitung taz (DE) /

Machiavellian Macron

The appointment of Edouard Philippe as PM is a wise move, the taz comments:

“With Philippe as PM the new president, who already has numerous ex-Socialists in his team, wants to build a bridge to the conservative camp. But Macron's true intentions are Machiavellian: with this highly tactical move he also wants to divide any future opposition on the right and increase his chances of securing a broad majority in the parliamentary elections on June 11 and 18. Will conservative voters vote for the Republicans, or for the president's new movement and prime minister? In the next few days we'll see whether a large part of the conservative centre and the right joins Macron's camp with Edouard Philippe as prime minister. And not least this nomination has enabled Macron to show that he is not the heir to Hollande.”

Libération (FR) /

No alternative to centrism

Macron's quest for a strong centrist policy leaves Libération sceptical:

“The new president is relying on a configuration that harks back to the Fourth Republic: a third force that governs in the face of two inflexible opposition camps - back then the Gaullists and the communists, today the far right and the radical left. Of course those who adhere unconditionally to Macron's programme will only see its advantages. Others will be less enthusiastic, faced with the choice between a centre they don't like and extremes they condemn. That's what makes this construction so fragile. Must we stand by and watch as any alternative to this government that is striving to achieve hegemony disappears?”