France's Macron appoints conservative Edouard Philippe as PM

But his year-old party faces a strong challenge from the losers of the presidential election, with the Republicans, Le Pen s National Front, the hard-left France Insoumise (France Unbowed) and centre-left Socialists all plotting revenge.

The 39-year-old has appointed Alexis Kohler, who was his chief of staff when he was economy minister, as his secretary general.

Merkel has praised Macron's embrace of European unity but has offered few concrete details of the way forward for German-French relations.

French President Emmanuel Macron listens as Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo delivers her speech during a ceremony at the Hotel de Ville in Paris, France, May 14, 2017.

As such, Philippe could possibly attract other Republicans to Macron's cause, as the centrist president works to piece together a majority in parliament to pass his promised economic reforms.

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

Like Macron, France s new prime minister has little truck with the entrenched left-right divide.

The mayor of his hometown since 2010, the gritty northern port of Le Havre, Philippe was first elected to parliament in 2012 as a Republicans MP for his Seine-Maritime area.

He heads to Berlin later Monday for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on how Europe s power couple can drive reforms of the bloc.

New French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed a relatively unknown lawmaker to serve as the prime minister of France.

Macron's choice reveals his commitment to draw in key figures from both the left and right wings of France's political spectrum.

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".

That the new prime minister was a member of the Republicans, the mainstream right, "is the demonstration that (the Republicans) can not symbolize an opposition worthy of the name", Le Pen said in a statement.

In a statement, the Republicans party said that it "regret [ted]" Philippe's nomination as Macron's prime minister, which it said was "an individual decision" and not a decision to form a coalition. The former banker meets Merkel a day after her conservatives won a regional vote in Germany's most populous state.

It is the first time in France's modern history that a president has named a prime minister from outside his party without being forced to by a defeat in a legislative contest, a political move that may help Macron win a majority in the upcoming parliamentary election to implement his economic and social roadmap.

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