French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday named senior French civil servant Jean Castex, who drew up the policy for easing the coronavirus lockdown, as his new prime minister as part of a government reshuffle.
"The president of the Republic has named Jean Castex as prime minister and mandated him to form a government," the presidency said in a brief statement.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and his entire government resigned Friday as Macron's ruling party reels from dire local election results and the president prepares to tackle the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Macron promised to "reinvent" himself after the coronavirus crisis, and there has been speculation that the president could seek a more social or greener orientation to compensate for the perception that his government to date has been strongly pro-business.
The president told French regional newspapers in an interview published late Thursday that there would be "only a few priorities" for the coming period.
Macron cited restarting the economy in the first place, along with reconstructing France's social and environmental protection systems, "reestablishing a fair republican order" and "defending European sovereignty."
"Yes, there is always a need for new faces, for new talent," the president said.