Edouard #Philippe is the new French Prime Minister. The choice seems to fall into that political unification project initiated by France's new president, Emmanuel Macron. It is the first time in the recent French political history that a prime minister is not chosen in the winning party: in fact, Philippe does not belong to the same #Macron's party En Marche!, but the two have a lot of points in common: both are young, at their first experience in their roles and with a past in the private sector - something uncommon in European politics. Beyond the similarities, there is a clear interest behind this choice: if Macron has indeed succeeded in winning many of Juppé's supporters (Les Republicains, the other centre party), it is certainly more difficult to get the support of his closest allies - something Philippe could help to facilitate.

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By doing so, Macron hopes to get the most support from moderate Republicans, thus securing a majority in June's legislative elections.

Who is Philippe?

Loyal to the center-right for almost all of his political experience, in 2002 he helped Juppé creating the UMP party - which later turned into Les Republicains. Subsequently, he was appointed Special Adviser in Juppé's Ministry of the Ecology and became mayor of Le Havre in 2010. He supported Fillon in the presidential elections, until the latter was investigated for issues related to the award of fake jobs to his wife. Unknown to the French public and without any experience in ministries, Philippe is somehow a bet. But, with this move, Macron wants "an opening beyond the divisions between right and left". Philippe embodies a conservative ideology that is certainly compatible with Macron's centrist and liberal Reformist vision.

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Outspoken

As one could imagine, the relationship between the two is not all peaches and dandelions. In fact, in January Philippe declared to the French national newspaper Liberation that Macron adhered to a certain kind of populism, that "assumes no responsibility but promises everything, with the ardor of a young conqueror and the cynicism of an old truck driver." In another interview, he even compared him to Jesus: "At the moment, he walks on the water, he cures the blind, gives bread, spreads the good word [...] All this without a real program or a true team. Just believe in him. Have faith. " But politics, as we know, goes beyond personal opinions. The main question is whether they will be able to set aside the contrasts and work together for the future of #France.