Edouard Philippe takes office as new French prime minister

Philippe's appointment ticks several boxes for the 39-year-old Macron, France's youngest president, who took power on Sunday.

Philippe previously worked as a director of public affairs for French nuclear group Areva and as a lawyer with New York City-based global law firm Debevoise and Plimpton LLP, The New York Times reported.

Macron is seeking to attract members from both the right and left to his new political party, La République en Marche (Republic on the Move), in time for next month's parliamentary elections.

"Germany's future lies in Europe".

Elysee secretary-general Alexis Kohler made the announcement on the steps of the presidential palace.

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

Philippe won out to some other, perhaps more politically aligned, potential nominees, including former Socialist Richard Ferrand, who has been a loyal supporter of Macron since he established his independent movement a year ago.

In keeping with tradition, the French president paid a visit to Merkel in his first trip overseas after taking office yesterday.

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On the other side of the political divide, Mr Macron's decision not to put up an REM candidate to oppose former Socialist prime minister Manuel Valls in his constituency ties Mr Valls closer and makes it hard for a divided left to re-unite.

Philippe is mayor of the gritty northern port of Le Havre and an MP for the region since 2012 who studied at the same universities as Macron and shares many of his views on the economy and social issues.

Steeve Briois, who took Le Pen's place as FN leader when she temporarily stepped down to face Macron in the decisive round of the election on May 7, welcomed her back to the helm of the nationalist, anti-immigrant party in a Twitter message.

Having already split the Socialist Party with his run for the presidency, Macron's act of luring one of the leading young lights of the centrist wing of the Republicans now threatens to splinter that party as well.

Germany has warned France's new President Emmanuel Macron to hold off on his push for radical European Union reforms, saying that far-reaching action requiring treaty changes is now "not realistic". "Germany will only do well in the long-run if Europe does well", Merkel told a news conference after a meeting of her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), victors in a regional German vote on Sunday.

The election of Emmanuel Macron as French president opens up the possibility of generating more dynamism in the European project, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said ahead of a meeting with Macron later on Monday.

Macron's planned afternoon trip to Berlin, his first as president, signals his intent to also move rapidly on campaign promises to revive support for the European Union by reforming and strengthening it.

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