France’s Macron replaces ministers of interior, environment in gov’t reshuffle

The French presidency on Monday unveiled a reshuffled government of mixed profiles with old and new faces to embark on the new path that President Emmanuel Macron pledged for the country’s reconstruction in his remaining two years in office.

Among the newcomers in the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Jean Castex, lawyer Eric Dupont-Moretti, 59, was appointed to oversee the justice ministry and Roselyne Bachelot, 73, a three-time minister under former presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, was named Minister of Culture. Barbara Pompili, 45, an ecologist who joined the ruling party three years ago, took over as environment minister from Elisabeth Borne, who would serve as labor minister.

Meanwhile, Macron has kept the main figures of the ministerial team. Jean-Yves Le Drian remained in charge of the foreign and European affairs, Bruno Le Maire continued to oversee the economy and finance ministry, Florence Parly maintained her position at the armed forces and Olivier Veran stayed at the health and solidarity ministry.

Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin moved to the interior ministry to replace Christophe Castaner, who had been criticized by Black Lives Matter protesters over alleged racism in the police force and also by officers for lack of support, local media reported.

The new cabinet is composed of 16 ministers and 15 deputy ministers. Half of them are women, delivering the president’s promise on gender equality. Its first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Macron, cornered by local election blow and opposition to his reforms, said last week he would ensure a new phase of his presidency with a refreshed cabinet to inject new life into his administration to meet economic, social and health challenges.