French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe resigned on Friday (3) after reaching an agreement with President Emmanuel Macron. Jean Castex, who until then was in charge of leading the country’s economic reopening, will take office after the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided. The Élysée Palace has also announced that the entire government will be reformed so that the last two years of Macron’s mandate follow “a new path”.
Castex, 55, began his political career as mayor of Prades, a city of 6,000 inhabitants. He also worked with Nicolas Sarkozy for the last two years of the former French president’s term. And under the Macron government, he took on the task of coordinating the gradual reopening of the country, which until now was considered a success.
He is considered an expert in social affairs and health policy, but until now he was little known by the French. Catex’s first task in the new position will be to choose, along with Macron, the new cabinet ministers.
The French government’s reformulation comes after the defeat of Macron’s En Marché !, in the elections of the main French cities. Macron gained some popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic, but it did not support itself, dropping from 43% in March to 38% in June, according to the Ifop research institute.
Philippe’s popularity, in turn, had been growing considerably, reaching 50% in June – an increase of 4 percentage points over the previous month. Philippe is expected to take over the prefecture of port city Le Havre this Saturday after being re-elected to the post of mayor.