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Emmanuel Macron's justice, defence and Europe ministers resign to defend sleaze allegations

23 June 2017

The former head of the cargo arm of Air France takes over France's nuclear-armed military from Sylvie Goulard, who stood down on Tuesday saying she could not remain in the cabinet with a potential investigation hanging over the MoDem party.

At the same time, Macron said that the use of chemical weapons was a red line for him, in case this happened, France was ready to interfere and deliver airstrikes even without the United States support. He was forced to make more changes than expected because four ministers facing investigations announced this week they would step down.

Mr Macron had planned to rearrange the government after his centrist party won a majority in parliamentary elections on Sunday.

After winning the presidential election in May, Macron crafted a first government that comprised ministers of the left, right and centre, breaking with convention as he extended his support base.

When Bayrou threw his weight behind Macron's fledging party, the future president hailed it as a "turning point" in his campaign.

EU Council President Tusk Says 'Dreams' About UK Staying in EU
Merkel also expressed a desire for constructive talks with Britain , but made clear that the EU's priority now was its own future. This uncompromising stance is "not about punishment" or "revenge", but simply a outcome of the UK's decision to exit, he said.

Government spokesman Christophe Castaner told reporters that what counted was her managerial background.

In an apparent reference to the downing of the jet, Lavrov told Tillerson in a phone call that the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday that it "violates the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic and harms the task of fighting terrorists and progress in settling the Syria crisis".

Macron, who defeated the anti-Europe far-right leader Marine Le Pen last month, said he had always been a defender of globalisation and free trade during his time as minister, but that European leaders should hear the plight of workers hit by globalisation. It was François Bayrou who outlined details of a bill to clean up politics.

His government is seeking to extend France's existing state of emergency through November 1, the time it will take the new security bill to pass through parliament.

The reshuffle came after a group of ministers from an affiliated centrist party, MoDem, resigned over allegations the party misused European parliamentary funds.

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But an EU-China summit in Brussels this month failed to agree a joint statement for the second year running, a diplomatic embarrassment as both sides disagreed over China's global trading status and whether Beijing should face harsh EU duties against low-priced exports.

But not only is he a possible subject of the jobs inquiry, he also raised eyebrows by phoning Radio France journalists to press them to go easy on an investigation into the question.

The new law that Bayrou was drafting would have banned the practice of hiring family members, among other measures.

One major scandal swirls around conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon, who is accused of paying his wife around 900,000 euros ($1 million) to work as his parliamentary assistant with little evidence she performed many tasks.

Senate Health Bill: Cut Medicaid, End Penalties
The New York Times also writes about another potentially thorny difference between the House and Senate bills - on abortion . I have said from the beginning that there is an agreement to be reached, and I believe we can get there, we can get to yes.

Emmanuel Macron's justice, defence and Europe ministers resign to defend sleaze allegations