France’s Macron to appoint new government spokesman in light reshuffle

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PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron will appoint former health minister Olivier Veran as the government’s new spokesman as part of a government reshuffle set to be announced later on Monday, Le Monde and BFM TV said.

The reshuffle, which follows June elections in which Macron’s centrist alliance lost control of parliament, will leave other key roles unchanged, with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne staying in her job, local media said.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France Inter radio he would also stay on.

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Other appointments reported by the French media show that Macron, who won a second mandate as president in April, has not poached any major names from opposition parties in the reshuffle, something he has done in the past.

Macron will need the backing of other parties to get bills adopted in parliament, but this reshuffle does not look set to include any government pact with parties beyond his centrist camp.

Veran is well known to the French public having steered France through most of the COVID-19 pandemic. Veran will replace current government spokeswoman Olivia Gregoire who won her race for a parliamentary seat in a Paris district.

Other new appointments will include Laurence Boone, the OECD’s deputy secretary general and chief economist, who will replace Clement Beaune as minister for European affairs, while Beaune is to become the new transport minister, BFM reported.

Damien Abad, the minister for solidarity and for the disabled, who is under investigation on suspicion of attempted rape, will lose his job, local media, including France 3 and BFM, said. Abad’s lawyer has said Abad denies the allegations.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel, writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Jane Merriman)

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