France

New French government - Ségolène Royal in, Pierre Moscovici out

She's back - presidential candidate in 2007, Ségolène Royal becomes ecology minister, a job she held in 1992
She's back - presidential candidate in 2007, Ségolène Royal becomes ecology minister, a job she held in 1992 Régis Duvignau/Reuters

France's new prime minister, Manuel Valls, has announced his new cabinet, firing Pierre Moscovici as finance minister. President François Hollande's ex-partner Ségolène Royal becomes ecology and energy minister.

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Valls has replaced Moscovici, who has failed to bring down unemployment or drastically reduce the budget deficit, with Michel Sapin.  

He will now have to deal with Arnaud Montebourg, the Mr Made in France who was regarded as the left-wing choice among the Socialists who tried to become presidential candidate in 2012.

Montebourg keeps the industrial renewal portfolio that he held under previous prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and has the economy added to his title.

But the new prime minister kept Laurent Fabius at foreign affairs and Jean-Yves Le Drian at defence.

Others to keep their jobs were Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, despite the fact that she clashed with Valls when he was interior minister, Agriculture Minister Stéphane Le Foll, who becomes government spokesperson, and Culture Minister Aurélie Filipetti.

Royal, who is the mother of Hollande's four children, was widely tipped to take a post, even though she is not an MP, and has landed the hot potato of environment and energy.

Valls chose former budget minister Bernard Cazeneuve to replace him at the interior ministry and gave youthful Women's Rights Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem responsibility for urban policy as well, while takinig the role of government spokesperson off her.

The new cabinet is:

  • Prime Minister: Manuel Valls;
  • Foreign Affairs: Laurent Fabius;
  • Justice: Christiane Taubira;
  • Ecology and energy: Ségolène Royal;
  • Finance: Michel Sapin;
  • Economy and industrial renewal: Arnaud Montebourg;
  • Interior: Bernard Cazeneuve;
  • Women's rights and urban planning: Najat Vallaud-Belkacem;
  • Social affairs: Marisol Touraine;
  • Labour: François Rebsamen;
  • Defence: Jean-Yves Le Drian;
  • Culture: Aurélie Filippetti;
  • Agriculture and government spokesperson: Stéphane Le Foll;
  • Decentralisation: Marylise Lebranchu;
  • Housing: Sylvia Pinel;
  • French overseas territories: George Pau-Langevin.

There are no Green party ministers after the EELV decided to pull out of its coalition with the Socialists, judging Valls too right wing.

Valls is to outline his government's policies next Tuesday.

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