Elisabeth Borne has been named the new Prime Minister of France and becomes the second woman to hold this position in the country
PARIS — Centrist politician Elisabeth Borne was named France’s new prime minister on Monday to become the second woman to hold the post in the country.
Borne, 61, who was labor minister in the previous government, succeeds Jean Castex, whose resignation was expected after President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected last month.
Macron and Borne are expected to name the full government in the coming days.
As labor minister since 2020, Borne has implemented changes that have made it harder for the unemployed to get benefits and reduced monthly payments for some unemployed workers, drawing criticism from unions and the left.
In 2018, as transport minister, Borne faced a major SNCF strike over plans to open up the rail network to competition and cut new hires’ right to keep their jobs and benefits. for life. She eventually succeeded in getting the bill passed.
Borne, who has never held elected office, was at the start of his career close to the traditional left. She notably worked as chief of staff of the socialist politician Ségolène Royal, then as Minister of Ecology under President François Hollande.
She then became CEO in 2015 of the public transport company RATP, which operates the Paris metro.
She joined Macron’s centrist party in 2017. She was first Minister of Transport and then Minister of Ecological Transition in the first Macron government.
Borne is the second woman to serve as prime minister in the country after Edith Cresson, who served in 1991-92 under socialist president Francois Mitterrand. Cresson, amid rising prices and high unemployment, became very unpopular and remained in office for less than a year.
Earlier Monday, Castex went to the Elysee Palace to formally submit his resignation, which the president “has accepted”, the Elysee Palace said in a statement.
Macron thanked Castex and his team. “He acted with passion and dedication to serve France,” Macron tweeted.
Castex succeeded Edouard Philippe in July 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. He sought to support businesses and revive the French economy following the damage caused by the virus and successive confinements.
In France, it is common for presidents to have more than one prime minister during their term.
Borne’s first mission will be to ensure that Macron’s centrist party and its allies succeed in the French legislative elections in June. The vote, scheduled in two rounds, will determine which group holds the majority of seats in the National Assembly, which has the final say over the Senate in France’s legislative process.
Macron also promised a bill on the rising cost of living in France, where food and energy prices are rising. It will be prepared by his new government and should be presented just after the legislative elections.
If Macron’s party wins a majority in the assembly, then Borne will have to ensure the president’s promised pension changes are passed into law, including raising the minimum retirement age from 62 to 65. years. The proposed changes have been criticized by workers, unions and left-leaning voters.
Macron also promised that the new prime minister would be directly in charge of “green planning”, seeking to speed up France’s implementation of climate-related policies. Macron has promised to go “twice as fast” in his second term to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Follow all AP stories on the 2022 French elections at https://apnews.com/hub/french-election-2022