PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday named Jean Castex as the country's new PM. Castex had coordinated the country's reopening strategy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier in the day, Edouard Philippe had resigned as the PM, with Macron praising his “outstanding work” in the past three years.
Castex, 55, is a career public servant who has worked with multiple governments. France's gradual reopening plan has been seen as generally successful so far.
Macron is reshuffling the government to focus on restarting the economy after months of lockdown. Many government members are expected to be replaced in the reshuffle.
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. “I will need to make choices to lead (the country) down the path,” he was quoted as saying by an international news agency.
The reshuffle comes days after a green wave swept over France in local elections. Macron saw his young centrist party defeated in France's biggest cities and failing to plant local roots across the country.
Macron's administration has been criticised for the handling of COVID-19. The administration also faced huge protests for its policies that was seen favouring the wealthy, thus leading to the yellow vests protests.
Due to COVID-19 impact, his efforts to create jobs has also taken a back seat.
The government issued a 460 billion-euro emergency package through a state-funded partial activity scheme, tax cuts and other financial aids for businesses.