Mr. Prime Minister
In a communiqué from the Office of the President of the French Republic dated May 17, 2007, it was announced (to no one's surprise) that François Fillon was named Prime Minister. It is also expected that Fillon's new cabinet will be announced tomorrow.
Fillon was given advance notice and collaborated with Sarkozy on the formation of the cabinet, unlike other prime ministers who have been given only a few days at best to quickly cobble together their government.
The newspaper articles on Fillon are very long, and I have not had time to read through them carefully. So I'm offering a few links that may help in our understanding of him and his background:
Wikipedia has a short English biography with some links.
The Telegraph offers an extended look at Penelope Fillon, the Prime Minister's wife who is Welsh.
Not exactly on-topic, but related, is this story in the Guardian about how Nicolas Sarkozy plans to spend his first 100 days in office.
My only impression so far is that it is difficult to pin down François Fillon. He is said to be a "social Gaullist", which to me means that he is a socialist who admired Charles de Gaulle. His biggest claim to fame so far was his attempt to reform the pensions of retirees and to make educational reforms. In both cases he won the wrath of the people and set off student demonstrations, to the horror, of Chirac, who greatly feared strikes and street protests.
Naturally, I will provide more information in the future, but the most important things now are: his choices for ministerial posts, his relations with Sarkozy, his vision for France.
If you read French, there is a substantial article in Le Monde that I am still working my way through.
According to Wikipedia, I'm free to use the above photo provided I include this acknowledgment:
"Service photographique du Premier ministre"