France’s Hollande names new cabinet

France’s Hollande names new cabinet

PanARMENIAN.Net - French President Francois Hollande has named a new cabinet under PM Manual Valls, dropping ministers who rebelled against austerity cuts, BBC News reported.

The first government of Valls, who was appointed less than five months ago, fell on Monday after a row with Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg.

Montebourg resigned along with two other ministers from the left. He will be replaced by Emmanuel Macron, a former Rothschild banker and ex-presidential economic adviser.

President Hollande is seeking a coherent line on economic policy after recent criticism from the left wing of his Socialist Party. Many see it as his last chance to make a successful presidency, after his recent poll ratings sunk to 17%, the BBC says.

For the first time, a woman - Najat Vallaud-Belkacem - will be put in charge of education, replacing Benoit Hamon who also lost his job. Vallaud-Belkacem was minister for women's rights in the last cabinet.

Meanwhile, Fleur Pellerin has been made minister for culture, replacing Aurelie Filippetti who is also out of the government.

Key ministers in the previous cabinet, like Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Finance Minister Michel Sapin, retain their posts.

Hollande's former partner and the mother of his four children, Segolene Royal, will retain her post as environment and energy minister.

President Hollande said earlier that the new cabinet should "cohere to the directions of the prime minister", who is on the party's right wing.

Prime Minister Valls said he would hold a parliamentary vote of confidence in September or October, speaking in a TV interview after the new ministers were named.

France is struggling with high unemployment and low growth, and Hollande's popularity is the lowest for a president in more than 50 years. Earlier this month, the French government admitted it would be impossible to reach a previous growth forecast of 1%.

Valls was appointed prime minister on March 31, to revive the fortunes of the ruling party after it took a hammering at local elections.

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