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Former French prime minister developing TV drama

Former French prime minister developing TV drama
Fictional series based on Edouard Philippe novel

By Cindi Cook

PARIS (AA) - Former French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said he is developing a new television drama series that is focused on politics.

Philippe said the show is currently in development and is based on his 2011 novel, In the Shadows (Dans l'ombres), during an interview with Le Point magazine earlier this week.

He left office in July after being re-elected to his former post as Mayor of Le Havre, the northern port town at the apex of the Seine River on the Normandy coast.

The self-professed "addict" of The West Wing, the American political television series which ran seven seasons in the US and was a huge hit, has watched all seven seasons and all 155 episodes four times, according to Radio France International.

The new series will focus on the primary race of a presidential candidate and his special advisor -- playing out the mercurial adventures of being elected.

Before assuming the post at the top of the French government, Philippe worked as spokesman for Alain Juppe, the Les Republicains front runner in the 2017 race for the presidency. Juppe was beaten by Francois Fillon in the primaries.

The series will draw on Philippe’s time in office but he said it is pure fiction.

"Sometimes reality is richer and more complex than fiction," he told Le Point.

Philippe is also adapting the series for a book.

While serving as prime minister, an office he held when since he was appointed by French President Emmanuel Macron in May 2017 -- Philippe was charged with numerous initiatives, most recently the resolution of the government's attempt to raise the retirement age. That spurred a crisis and nationwide strikes from December 2019 to March.

Philippe consistently ranked high in national polling, with 50% approving of his handling of the initial lockdown and the COVID-19 crisis.

The former prime minister adopted a pro-labor stance for much of his government plans, following the lead of his boss. In 2017, he announced a labor reform plan that handed increased autonomy to companies in employee negotiations.

Philippe also announced his immigration plan in 2017 which provided housing for thousands of refugees and shortened the time for asylum claims.

The plan was adopted in 2019 and fixed quotas and pushed the hiring of immigrants in industries where needed.

source: News Feed
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