Busy day for French president: Names PM, meets with Merkel

New French President Emmanuel Macron waves to supporters after a ceremony at the Arc of Triomphe following his formal inauguration ceremony as French President Sunday

New French President Emmanuel Macron waves to supporters after a ceremony at the Arc of Triomphe following his formal inauguration ceremony as French President Sunday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Emmanuel Macron agreed on Monday to draw up a roadmap to deeper European Union integration and opened the door to changing the bloc's treaties to facilitate ambitious reform.

Merkel, receiving her fourth French president since taking office nearly 12 years ago, told the freshly elected Macron that Germany would be willing to consider changing European Union treaties if necessary.

Merkel said the pair had a "joint conviction that we are not only going to deal with the British exit from the European Union, but we also need to deepen the EU".

Macron, who appointed Edouard Philippe from the center-right Republicans party as his prime minister earlier Monday, refused to answer specific questions about his choice in Berlin.

Macron, for his part, reassured Germany that he wouldn't revive the idea of jointly issued eurobonds, which divided Europe at the height of the eurozone debt crisis.

Germany, which has Europe's biggest economy, has vehemently opposed taking direct responsibility for weaker eurozone countries' debts. "Don't give full powers to Mr. Macron and his prime minister".

After campaigning for Socialist prime minister Michel Rocard as a youth, he switched to the right, becoming a close ally of centre-right former prime minister Alain Juppe.

Philippe's age would reinforce the generational shift in France's corridors of power and the image of youthful vigor that Macron is cultivating.

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At the same time the driver who replaced him at Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel, now leads the 2017 World Championship. Alonso will hope to have better luck in FP2 later on Friday, providing his vehicle can be repaired in time.

But the proposals have sent alarm bells ringing in Berlin, and initial relief about his victory against far-right leader Marine Le Pen had quickly given way to fears about his reform plans.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had warned that such deep-reaching reforms would require European Union treaty changes, which were "not realistic" at a time when Europe was hit by a surge of anti-euro populism.

Asked about euro bonds, a policy that Macron has favored but has been dismissed by the German government, Merkel said, "We don't agree on every single thing". Macron and Merkel have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the European Union and Merkel strongly applauded Macron's election.

"The right has just been annexed, with a prime minister taken from its ranks, from the Republicans", Melenchon said.

Like Macron, Edouard Philippe is a pro-European moderate who wants French politics to go beyond the left-right divide.

The two have met before, in March, during the French presidential campaign.

In strategic terms, France will also be the only EU member on the UN Security Council and the bloc's only country with nuclear weapons after the United Kingdom leaves the union in 2019.

"The election of the new French president offers us here the possibility to bring dynamism into the development of Europe", she said, emboldened after her conservatives won a regional vote on Sunday that boosts her chances of re-election in September.

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