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New prime minister named in France as Emmanuel Macron launches reshuffle

Jean Castex, who helped navigate the country out of lockdown, is replacing Edouard Philippe as head of government.

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Jean Castex (Gonzalo Fuentes/AP)

Jean Castex (Gonzalo Fuentes/AP)

Jean Castex (Gonzalo Fuentes/AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron has named Jean Castex, who coordinated France’s virus reopening strategy, as the country’s new prime minister.

The relatively low-profile Mr Castex replaces Edouard Philippe, who resigned earlier in the day.

Mr Macron is reshuffling the government to focus on restarting the economy after months of lockdown.

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French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Edouard Philippe (Christian Hartmann/AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Edouard Philippe (Christian Hartmann/AP)

AP/PA Images

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Edouard Philippe (Christian Hartmann/AP)

In an interview given to several local newspapers on Thursday, Mr Macron, said he is seeking a “new path” to rebuild the country for the two remaining years of his term.

He praised Mr Philippe’s “outstanding work” in the past three years.

“I will need to make choices to lead (the country) down the path,” he said.

PA