Putin congratulates new French president in call

Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel agree to work towards 'road map' of reforms for European Union

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a media conference in Berlin, Germany, Monday, May 15, 2017.

In return, Mr Macron said that he would work with Ms Merkel on a "road map" and that they needed to work on "deep reforms that are necessary and need common work".

Emmanuel Macron's support for the Paris bid is seen as symbolically important, and his decision to meet Tuesday with the visiting International Olympic Committee delegation was one of his first moves since taking office Sunday.

When a new French president is elected, their first trip overseas is to Germany.

Mr Philippe, a lawyer and the mayor of Normandy port of Le Havre, is also relatively unknown to voters, fulfilling Mr Macron's campaign promise to repopulate French politics with new faces.

Macron has said half his ministers will be women and that some will be high achievers in business, academia, the civil service or the NGO world.

France's new president and prime minister have the lowest public confidence levels for French leaders starting their terms in at least the last 20 years, a poll found on Thursday.

"I am not a promoter of the mutualisation of old debt" within the euro zone, he said after meeting Dr Merkel, adding, however, that the joint financing of future projects should be considered.

In his new post, he will be assisting Economy Minister Bruno le Maire, a reform-minded conservative whose expertise on Europe and staunch defence of the Franco-German relationship will prove valuable as Macron pushes for closer European Union integration.

In a move that will no doubt please Germany, Macron also announced the appointment of Édouard Philippe as his prime minister on Monday.

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"A whole section of the centre and the right is ready to cross the line", the conservative Le Figaro daily wrote Tuesday.

Le Drian is expected to be the only member of the outgoing Socialist government to be kept on, with Macron keeping a careful distance from the little-loved administration of his predecessor Francois Hollande.

One other controversial appointment in the cabinet was that of Nicolas Hulot, a well-known TV environmentalist with no background as a politician despite having advised several previous governments.

Trump was surprised, the sources said.

German politicians are reaching out to migrants from Russian Federation in an effort to tap what's seen as a long-neglected group of voters as Germany gears up for its general election.

Back in Paris, Mr Macron spent yesterday selecting his Cabinet with new Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. "We need more pragmatism, less bureaucracy and a Europe that protects our citizens".

She also made her most positive comments yet about eurozone reforms mooted by Mr Macron, saying it may be possible to change European Union treaties as would be required to enact them.

And Merkel hailed Macron's win in France saying that he carried "the hopes of millions" in Europe.

Speaking at a joint press conference on Monday night during Macron's inaugural visit to Berlin on his first full day in office, Merkel said: "From a German point of view, it is possible to change treaties if it makes sense in order to strengthen the eurozone".

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