France: Macron keeps French PM amid pension unrest

Paris –

French President Emmanuel Macron has decided to keep Elisabeth Borne as prime minister, a presidential official said on Monday, calling on the government to give new direction after tumultuous months. refused pressure.

Calls among political opponents and some government insiders for restructuring after months of riots and strikes over President Macron’s pension reforms in the spring, and five days of rioting and looting in French cities earlier this month. was rising.

But with no clear candidate to replace the former technocrat Born, whom critics say lack charisma, supporters say Mr Macron has already delivered on many of his campaign promises. French leaders decided to keep her in the cabinet.

“To ensure stability and close work, the president has decided to retain the prime minister,” Macron’s office said in a statement.

The official said the president is expected to provide clues about plans for the next few months “by the end of the week.”

French media said Born was working on “adjustments”, with only a possible sign of a technical restructuring on the card, where major portfolios such as the Treasury did not see any changes.

Rumors of a possible government reshuffle have swirled in the wake of sudden riots sparked by the police killing of a teenager in one of the most serious challenges to President Macron’s leadership yet.

But Mr Macron last week said he needed more time to formulate a response to the riots, saying it needed more than a “convenience” response.

That is why he said last week that he had decided not to meet on July 14, the self-imposed deadline in April to resume his second term and ease tensions after the pension crisis.

A source close to Macron told Reuters that changing the prime minister now makes no sense because his minority government has failed to reach a deal with potential right-wing conservatives in parliament.

Macron had left the option of offering the seat of prime minister to conservative Les Republiens as a prize for a formal coalition, the person added.

(Reporting by Liu Zhifan, Dominique Vidalon, Michel Rose; Editing by Sandra Maler and Alistair Bell)

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