Elisabeth Borne holds the Premiership of France over Castex’s resignation 

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Centrist politician Elisabeth Borne was appointed France’s new prime minister on Monday to become the second woman to hold the post in the country.

Borne, 61, who was labour minister in the previous government, succeeds Jean Castex, who resigned earlier in the day.

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“Ecology, health, education, full employment, democratic revival, Europe and security: together, with the new government, we will continue to act tirelessly for the French people,” French President Emmanuel Macron stated on Twitter shortly after Borne’s appointment.

Macron and Borne are expected to appoint the full government in the coming days.

Borne is the second woman to hold the position of prime minister in the country after Edith Cresson, who served from 1991 to 1992 under Socialist President Francois Mitterrand.

As labour minister since 2020, Borne implemented changes that made it harder for jobless people to get benefits and reduced monthly payments for some unemployed people, prompting criticism from workers’ unions and from the left.

In 2018, as transport minister, Borne faced a major strike from the SNCF railway company against plans to open the train network to competition and end newly-hired employees’ right to retain jobs and benefits for life. She ultimately managed to pass the bill.

Borne, who has never held an elected office, was close to the traditional left at the beginning of her career. 

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She notably worked as chief of staff to Socialist politician Ségolène Royal and then as ecology minister under President Francois Hollande.

Borne then became CEO in 2015 of the state-owned transport company RATP, which operates the Paris metro.

She joined Macron’s centrist party in 2017. She was first transport minister and then minister of ecological transition in Macron’s first government.

Castex resigned in an expected move after Macron’s reelection last month.

Castex came to the Elysée presidential palace to formally offer his resignation, which the president “accepted,” the Elysée said in a statement.

In France, it’s common for presidents to have more than one prime minister during their terms.

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