The French government resigned oon Friday ahead of a cabinet reshuffle that President Emmanuel Macron says will set out a "new course" as the country grapples with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and his entire government resigned today as Macron's ruling party reels from dire local election results and the president prepares to tackle the economic crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Emmanuel Macron and his government have acknowledged mask shortages and other missteps in the virus crisis.
His nomination comes after Philippe has pushed through a series of Macron's controversial overhauls that sparked massive strikes as well as the fierce "yellow vest" anti-government revolt. A statement released by the Elysee ensures proper governmental conduct will continue "with members of the government, the treatment of current affairs until the appointment of a new government".
The president's first three years in office have been mired in social unrest and the elections showed surging support for the Green party and underlined Macron's troubles connecting with ordinary folk.
In an interview given to several local newspapers on Thursday, Macron said he is seeking a "new path" to rebuild the country for the two remaining years of his term.
Philippe, a popular right-wing politician who never joined Macron's Republic on the Move party, nonetheless easily won his bid to be mayor of Le Havre.
Castex, who is the mayor of the small town of Prades in southern France, had previously been given the delicate task of handling the government's plan for exiting the coronavirus lockdown.
The unemployment rate that fell from 9.2% at the beginning of Macron's term in 2017 to 7.6% earlier this year - its lowest level since 2008 - is now expected to increase steadily.
Announcements are expected "in the coming hours", a spokesman said.
Before that, Macron's pro-business policies, widely seen as favoring the wealthier, had been hampered by the yellow vest economic movement against perceived social injustice. "Behind that, there will be a new team".
"I don't think Philippe's loyalty has ever been called into question", the Elysee official said.
Other top ministers could also be on the way out, but analysts noted that Macron has a thin bench of potential replacements, not least because his young party has failed to produce any standouts from its parliamentary ranks.
The last scheduled Conseil des Ministres cabinet meeting of the outgoing team, which was meant to be held this morning, was cancelled after the prime minister submitted his resignation.