July 6, 2020 / 8:57 PM / a month ago

Factbox: Who are the key ministers in Macron's new government

PARIS (Reuters) - Seeking to recast his presidency two years out from elections, President Emmanuel Macron and his new prime minister, Jean Castex, on Monday unveiled a reshuffled cabinet.

Here are some of the key ministers in the new cabinet:

FINANCE MINISTER: BRUNO LE MAIRE, 51

Le Maire, who has overseen reforms to liberalise the economy and spent big to keep companies like Air France (AIRF.PA) and Renault (RENA.PA) afloat during the crisis, keeps his job.

A reform-minded conservative whose expertise on Europe and staunch defence of the Franco-German relationship has proved valuable as Macron pushes for closer EU integration.

INTERIOR MINISTER: GERALD DARMANIN, 37

Drawn from the ranks of the conservative Republicains, 37-year-old Darmanin helped implement Macron’s main tax reforms as his budget minister and oversaw an overhaul of tax collection.

Under his watch, the public deficit was kept within an EU limit of 3% of GDP while France’s high level of public spending was brought lower.

He was re-elected mayor of his political fiefdom of Tourcoing in northern France this year.

Last month, an appeals court ordered the reopening of an investigation into a rape allegation against Darmanin, which he denies.

MINISTER FOR HEALTH: OLIVIER VERAN, 40

Veran holds on to his job as health minister. He was parachuted into the role in February when, in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, his predecessor Agnes Buzyn stepped down to run for mayor of Paris.

A trained neurologist, he was a lawmaker for the Socialists and then Macron.

He is tasked with preparing a plan for French hospitals and boosting the wages of exhausted health workers who have been on the frontline in the fight against the coronavirus.

FOREIGN MINISTER: JEAN-YVES LE DRIAN, 73

Le Drian remains at the foreign ministry, a post he has held since 2017.

He backed Macron early and took over the foreign affairs portfolio after holding the defense post for five years under former president Francois Hollande.

Le Drian is seen as the driving force behind France’s counter-terrorism operations in West Africa and the Middle East and has kept extensive contacts with leaders in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

ECOLOGY MINISTER: BARBARA POMPILI, 45

Pompili was a longtime member of the Green party before joining Macron’s La Republique en Marche in 2017.

As chairwoman of parliament’s Committee on Sustainable Development she led a 2018 inquiry that delivered strong criticism of nuclear power safety in France.

Pompili served as a junior environment minister in the socialist government during the presidency of socialist Francois Hollande.

LABOUR AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS: ELISABETH BORNE, 59

Borne, a former civil servant before joining Macron’s government, takes over a beefed-up Labour and Social Affairs Ministry whose priority will be finding a way to create jobs as France tries to escape deep economic turmoil.

Macron’s first three years in power were mired in social unrest as he pushed through pro-business reforms unpopular with many voters. Borne, who successfully pushed through changes to French railways in the face of union opposition, will be tasked with reforming pensions and quelling the discontent.

She was the chief executive officer of Paris public transport group RATP from 2015-2017.

EDUCATION MINISTER: JEAN-MICHEL BLANQUER, 55

Blanquer is reappointed as education minister.

He overhauled the French baccalaureate and introduced free breakfasts for school children in poor neighbouroods.

Previously Blanquer, a conservative, served as the education ministry’s top civil servant under former president Jacques Chirac before becoming the dean of the elite ESSEC business school.

Compiled by Paris bureau; Editing by Toby Chopra

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