Mixture of old and new faces in Macron's first government

French President Emmanuel Macron listens as Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo delivers her speech during a ceremony at the Hotel de Ville in Paris France Sunday

French President Emmanuel Macron listens as Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo delivers her speech during a ceremony at the Hotel de Ville in Paris France Sunday

Merkel said at the weekend she wanted close cooperation with Macron and that their two countries would do everything to shape European policy.

"In the past, the subject of treaty change was a French taboo".

Macron said he was "counting on President Tusk and his leadership to take the work of reforming (the EU) further", adding: "Europe needs your energy and your imagination".

But with Germany's economy, Europe's largest, outperforming that of France, the traditional Franco-German motor at the heart of the European Union has begun to misfire.

In a nod to German concerns, Mr Macron said at the news conference with Mrs Merkel that he had never pushed for jointly issued eurobonds and does not favour European countries taking joint responsibility for old debts. The idea has been met with skepticism by some in Germany, Europe's strongest economy, which has faced the biggest share of bailouts for weaker eurozone members. France Prime Minister's age supports the generational shift in the region's corridors of power that Macron is preparing.

After conservative hopeful Francois Fillon lost the first round of the presidential election in April, the Le Havre mayor urged his supporters to back Macron. Alain Juppe, a former prime minister, called Philippe "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job".

Half of the appointees announced Wednesday are men and half are women.

Speed is becoming one of Macron's trademarks.

Philippe and Macron chose experienced politicians from the left, the center and the right for the main positions. As Macron's campaign digital chief, Mahjoubi was responsible for cybersecurity.

The announcement of the line-up was delayed by 24 hours on Tuesday, with the presidency saying it needed more time to carry out more extensive screening of candidates.

"This is the sacred alliance of the old right and left, united in their wish to remain in place at any price", Le Pen said in a statement.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, whom Macron named on Monday, will lead the government, at least until the parliamentary elections scheduled for June.

Voters go to polls again in June to elect 577 National Assembly lawmakers. But Macron could also be anticipating a Republican wave, and hoping Philippe might still be a palatable choice as prime minister.

"I was among the first to say "why not a prime minister from the right"?"

Mr Macron added, however, that "what I know is that we have investments to make (in Europe), and so we have to work on investment mechanisms for the future".

Merkel and Macron want to kick-start ties with an alliance some German media have dubbed "Merkron", stressing that the European Union is resilient despite Britain's vote to leave and a spate of financial and migration crises that have boosted the far-right across the bloc. Merkel, 62, is hosting Macron, 39, at the chancellery on his first full day as president later Monday. She built a solid relationship with Macron's predecessor, Socialist Francois Hollande, despite their political differences - notably with their joint effort to secure an accord to calm the crisis in Ukraine in tense overnight talks in Minsk, Belarus in 2015.

Germany is keen to continue with the Franco-German diplomatic drive to keep a lid on the situation in Ukraine.

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