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Friday 19th September 2014
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France Completes Second Reshuffle In Two Years

Tuesday, 26th August 2014 20:57

France has seen a second cabinet reshuffle in as many years as President Francois Hollande attempts to revive the stagnant French economy.

Arnaud Montebourg, who had spoken publicly against austerity measures in France, was replaced as economy minister by Emmanuel Macron.

Mr Macron, who was one of Mr Hollande top advisers until two months ago, is expected to send positive signals to European Union partners.

Finance minister Michel Sapin kept his role, but culture minister Aurelie Filippetti and education minister Benoit Hamon were replaced.

Foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius and defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also stayed in their posts.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls handed in his government's resignation on Monday after Mr Montebourg was accused of attacking Mr Hollande's economic recovery plan.

The reshuffle also comes less than five months after Mr Valls took office.

Mr Hollande's former coalition partners - the left-wing Greens - have no ministers in the new cabinet.

The new cabinet is formed just weeks ahead of tough negotiations on a 2015 budget which is expected to break with promises to the EU over deficit cuts.

Sources close to Mr Hollande said the cabinet will carry out his plan of reconciling pro-business measures to boost growth - including ?40bn in corporate tax cuts - to comply with EU budget rules.

But he is the most unpopular president in recent French history, with ratings below 20%.