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New prime minister gives interview

The new French prime minister gave an interview in which he said he considered the values of the republic the most important and was trying to form an effective, functioning government.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe handed over the baton to his successor, Jean Castex, in the courtyard of the prime minister's residence, after announcing the resignation of the French government on Friday morning, which was accepted by Emmanuel Macron. The outgoing premier thanked his team for their hard work and then the ceremony began.

Emmanuel Macron thanked Edouard Philippe and his team for their work over the past three years, then welcomed new Prime Minister Jean Castex.

The newly appointed French premier gave his first interview to TF1, arriving at the studio before 8 pm.

"We are in a new situation, the health crisis we have been struggling with so far is being followed by an economic and social crisis, which must be taken into account," the new French prime minister began, adding that the government was preparing to rebuild the country. Jean Castex said that his predecessor had done a great deal for the country, and the French people would continue to benefit from his talent.

When asked about the values and views he considered important, Jean Castex said that he put the values of the republic first, i.e. secularism, responsibility and authority, and he believes that the shared wealth, needed to maintain the social pact, should be created first and foremost.

Castex was the deputy head of former President Nicolas Sarkozy's office and, until his appointment, a member of the Republican Party. Regarding his political past, he said he had not regretted anything, as his knowledge grew with each experience.

Regarding the coming months, Jean Castex emphasized the importance of the recovery plan, reconstruction, investment, the environment and social dialogue, furthermore, the need to continue to support the economy with firm decisions.

Jean Castex believes that environmental protection is not an option but a priority that needs to be tackled promptly.

When asked about his future government, Castex did not mention names yet, but made it clear that its main feature would be functionality. Action needs to be taken, and quickly, so he is confident that the new French government will be formed by Monday, so that they can get to work by the middle of next week.

Regarding the trial of former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and former Health Ministers Agnes Buzyn and Olivier Veran, Jean Castex said that he did not wish to comment on legal issues, but emphasized that the focus needs to be put on the fundamental issues, and things which did not work in the system, need to be repaired.

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