France Unveils Hollande's New Government

Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 23:46
France unveiled President Francois Hollande's new government on Wednesday, with former prime minister Laurent Fabius, 65, named foreign minister and Pierre Moscovici, 54, finance minister.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, a 64-year-old local politician from Brittany, was named defense minister, while Manuel Valls, a free-market modernizer seen as on the right of the Socialist Party, was named interior minister.

Not counting Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who was named by the Socialist Hollande on Tuesday, the cabinet consists of 34 members, two more than the outgoing cabinet that served under right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy.

Though most of the top-level posts were held by men, it was also the first French cabinet to reach gender parity, meeting a promise made by Hollande during the election campaign.

Hollande also chose close ally Michel Sapin, 60, as labor minister and put Arnaud Montebourg, a 49-year-old from the left wing of the Socialist party, in charge of reindustrialization.

Moscovici, a former European affairs minister, was Hollande's campaign manager and transition chief.

Jerome Cahuzac, 59 and the head of parliament's budget committee, was named budget minister, while Christiane Taubira, a 60-year-old lawmaker from French Guiana, was named justice minister.

The first cabinet session was take place on Thursday at 1300 GMT.

Notably absent from the line-up was Socialist leader and former labor minister Martine Aubry, a key figure in the party's old-guard left wing, who said she would not join cabinet after being passed up for the premiership.

Source:Agence France Presse
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