New French PM Castex takes helm: ‘I’m not right here for limelight – I’m right here for outcomes’

Former French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (C-L) and newly-appointed Prime Minister Jean Castex (C-R) stand on the steps of the Matignon Hotel in Paris on July 3, 2020 prior to the handover ceremony. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / POOL / AFP)


France’s new prime minister, Jean Castex, warned on Friday that the coronavirus pandemic was not over and an financial disaster was already making itself felt, as he took the helm of President Emmanuel Macron’s authorities.

“The economic crisis is already here,” Castex mentioned, praising outgoing prime minister Édouard Philippe exterior the official premier’s residence. Macron named Castex earlier on Friday to launch a brand new section of his presidency.

“Priorities will therefore have to evolve, ways of working will have to be adapted. We will have to unite the nation to fight this crisis that is setting in.”

Castex additionally mentioned he would proceed the structural reforms undertaken by Philippe.

Before a small crowd exterior the residence, the previous prime minister mentioned he was “very happy” to “pass the torch” to Castex, whom he described as having the “open mind” and “firm hand” that he thinks France wants.

The new prime minister was drawn from the right-wing opposition to Macron’s centrist get together, and was completely unknown to most in France till now.

But Castex, a former high aide to ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, has been in command of the nation’s progressive emergence from the coronavirus lockdown, a coverage greeted as a relative success by consultants.

“Let’s be clear: I’m not here to seek the limelight. I’m here to get results,” Castex mentioned in what was successfully his introduction to most people throughout a prime-time interview on TF1.

He mentioned he would current his political highway map subsequent week, and a wider cupboard overhaul is predicted within the coming days.

Macron has promised a “new course” for France to cope with the disaster, which has plunged France into its worst recession since World War II and left hundreds of thousands of individuals dealing with unemployment.

The former funding banker, who swept to energy in 2017 on pledges to radically reform France, already has a cautious eye on his 2022 re-election bid after months of protests and strikes that preceded the coronavirus outbreak.

While many analysts thought Macron would tack left or look farther afield for his new prime minister, Castex is a pure product of the French administrative elite, having attended the identical ENA managerial college as Macron and Philippe.

“We might have expected a political shift, but this is a technocrat,” Christian Jacob, head of the conservative Les Républicains, informed AFP, indicating that Castex could be solid out of the get together.

His nomination comes after Philippe has pushed via a collection of Macron’s controversial overhauls that sparked large strikes in addition to the fierce “yellow vest” anti-government revolt.


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