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Tuesday 16th September 2014
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Hollande Dissolves French Govt In Economy Row

Monday, 25th August 2014 17:20

French President Francois Hollande has dissolved his government amid a row over the country's struggling economy.

Mr Hollande said Prime Minister Manual Valls had handed in the Socialist government's resignation and had until Tuesday to complete a reshuffle.

"The head of state asked him to form a team that supports the objectives he has set out for the country," said a terse statement.

France's economy has not grown this year and unemployment is hovering around 10%.

Mr Hollande's approval rating languishes at 17%, according to a poll, the lowest for a president since the 1958, as the country struggles to emerge from the economic doldrums.

The abrupt end to the government comes after outspoken Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg called for a "major change" away from deficit reduction measures, and criticised Germany's "obsession" with austerity.

"It's not France's job to align itself to the ideological axioms of Germany's right wing," said the far-left politician in an interview last week.

It is not yet clear which ministers will survive the reshuffle and who will be culled, or indeed whether Mr Hollande will emerge with his parliamentary majority intact.

Local media said Culture Minister Aurelie Filipetti had signalled she did not want to be part of the new government.

Opposition conservatives, who have been experiencing their own leadership rows, called for an outright dissolution of parliament, as did the far-right National Front.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not comment directly on France's political turmoil but said she wished "the French president success with his reform agenda".