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French PM Edouard Philippe resigns as Macron plans new team

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French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has tendered his resignation after heading President Emmanuel Macron's government for three years.

Although Mr Philippe is considered more popular than the president, the ruling La République En Marche (Republic on the Move) had poor local election results at the weekend.

Mr Philippe met the president and they agreed the government would resign.

President Macron promised a "new path" in an interview published on Friday.

A reshuffle has been expected for some time, and it is common practice for a French president to replace a prime minister during the five-year term in office known as the "quinquennat".

The Elysée palace said in a statement that Edouard Philippe had "today handed in the government's resignation to the president of the republic, who accepted it", adding that he would stay in place until a new government was appointed.

Why Macron is changing his team

Mr Macron came to power three years ago but now faces an economic crisis after the coronavirus pandemic.

In the interview with regional newspapers, he spoke of a "very tough" recovery for France, and focused on the immediate priority of saving jobs, as well as economic, social and environmental reconstruction.

Mr Philippe's future as prime minister had been in doubt for several weeks and he won the mayoral election in Le Havre on Sunday.

A new prime minister will be appointed in the coming hours, and theoretically Mr Philippe could be asked to stay in place.

However, a removal van and cardboard boxes were seen arriving at his Matignon residence on Friday indicating he was preparing to move out.

"For three years he's been by my side… we've carried out important, historic reform often in very difficult circumstances. We have a relationship of trust that's in a way unique in terms of the French Republic," he said in his interview published late on Thursday.

Under France's constitution, the prime minister is appointed by the president to run the government an co-ordinate its actions under policies set out by the president.

Speculation mounted in Paris over who would replace Mr PhilipRead More – Source

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