France’s new president Francois Hollande has named Jean-Marc Ayrault as the country’s new prime minister.
A long-time ally of Hollande, the 62-year-old was a special advisor during the election campaign which swept the socialists to power.
The German-speaker was widely tipped to take the job.
With strong contacts in Berlin, Ayrault could be play a crucial role in the France-Germany relationship.
Hollande wants a German-inspired financial pact for Europe renegotiated, as he seeks more emphasis on growth.
The new president is wasting no time, with a meeting in the diary for Monday night with centre-right Chancellor Angela Merkel.
World markets in particular will be scrutinising Hollande’s first few steps as he officially starts work.