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Macron reshuffles cabinet, names ruling party chief interior minister

Philippe Lopez, AFP | French PM Edouard Philippe flanked by new French Interior minister Christophe Castaner (L) and French Secretary of State to the Interior Minister Laurent Nunez on Oct.16, 2018.

French President Emmanuel Macron reshuffled his government on Tuesday, naming loyalist and head of his ruling party Christophe Castaner to the sensitive post of interior minister.


The reshuffle is an attempt to steady his administration after a series of resignations, and revive a reform drive that has shown signs of flagging.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who has spearheaded Macron's eurozone reform push, and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian retained their posts.

The president and his prime minister have been weighing the reshuffle for a few weeks, following the departure of three ministers since late August, including Interior Minister Gérard Collomb and Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot.

Ministers had been expecting the rejig before a cabinet meeting last week. But the Élysée said it would not happen until Macron's return from a visit to Armenia that Friday.

'You must take the time'

Macron, whose authority has been challenged over Collomb's departure, said he wanted to take his time.

“When you want to work with people, you must take the time to get to know them, to make sure that we think the same thing and to check all the elements,” Emmanuel Macron told FRANCE 24 during an interview on Friday in Armenia, where he was attending the international summit of French-speaking countries.

“You need to make these decisions calmly, methodically and at the right pace. The government is at work. There are no empty seats. Things are moving along,” he said.

Macron, 40, faces multiple challenges in carrying out a significant revamp. Not only must he try to maintain the left-right balance that he made a hallmark of his centrist movement, but also find strong candidates from among a relatively shallow and inexperienced pool of loyalists.


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