Ex-banker handed key cabinet role

After more than 24 hours of speculation, the make up of the so-called "Valls II" government has been revealed

25 August 2014
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THREE new faces have joined the top table of the so-called Valls II government, it was announced this evening, bringing to an end more than 24 hours of media speculation.

Former banker Emmanuel Macron, 36, has been given Mr Montebourg’s old job of economy minister, despite speculation throughout the day that Michel Sapin would add the job to his portfolio to form a so-called “Super Bercy”.

Fleur Pellerin, meanwhile, steps up to a cabinet position after being named as secretary of state for foreign trade in the last reshuffle in March.

They, and Patrick Kanner join a number of key Hollande faithful, including Laurent Fabius, who has held on to his foreign affairs portfolio; ecology minister Ségolène Royal, who remains the third most powerful politician in Mr Hollande’s government; Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, who becomes the first women to be Minister of Education; and Christiane Taubira, who has held on to her post as minister of justice - despite reportedly sending messages of support to rebel ex-ministers Arnaud Montebourg and Benoît Hamon for their criticism of the government’s economic policies at the weekend.

Mr Montebourg’s outspoken attack on President Hollande’s efforts to reduce the French deficit sparked the current political crisis and led to Manuel Valls handing his and his government’s resignation to Mr Hollande yesterday morning.

Since then, Mr Valls has been in meetings as he sought to fill the vacant seats with politicians who are prepared to toe the government line and publicly support the €50bn Responsibility Pact.

His job was made more difficult as a number of high-profile politicians rejected government positions - including political adviser and former director-general of the World Trade Organisation Pascal Lamy, and former transport secretary Frederic Cuvillier, who ruled himself out of the new government late this afternoon.

The Elysee Palace said this morning that Mr Hollande wanted his new government to be “clear” about “its direction, its behaviour and its composition”.

“It is imperative that the behaviour [of ministers] guarantees coherence, respect and solidarity,” it said in a statement.

The new-look 16-strong cabinet is as follows:

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Laurent Fabius
Minister of Ecology: Ségolène Royal
Minister of National Education: Najat Vallaud-Belkacem
Minister of Justice: Christiane Taubira
Minister of Finance and Public Accounts: Michel Sapin
Minister of Defence: Jean-Yves Le Drian
Minister of Social Affairs, Health, and Women’s Rights: Marisol Touraine
Minister of Employment: François Rebsamen
Minister of the Interior: Bernard Cazeneuve
Minister of Agriculture and Government Spokesman: Stéphane Le Foll
Minister of the Economy and Industry: Emmanuel Macron
Minister of Housing: Sylvia Pinel
Minister of Decentralisation: Marylise Lebranchu
Minister of Overseas Territories: George Pau-Langevin
Minister of Culture and Communication: Fleur Pellerin
Minister of Cities, Youth and Sports: Patrick Kanner

The cabinet will meet for the first time at 10am tomorrow, where - unusually - it will include the secretaries of state, or junior ministers, who were also unveiled today.

The complete list of secretaries of state is:

Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs: Jean-Marie Le Guen
Secretary of State in charge of Territorial Reform: Thierry Mandon
Secretary of State for Development: Annick Girardin
Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Development of Tourism and French overseas: Thomas Thévenoud
Secretary of State for Higher Education: Geneviève Fioraso
Secretary of State for the Budget: Christian Eckert
Secretary of State for War Veterans: Kader Arif
Secretary of State for Family and the Elderly: Laurence Rossignol
Secretary of State responsible for People with Disabilities and the Fight against Exclusion: Ségolène Neuville
Secretary of State for Women’s Rights: Pascale Boitard
Secretary of State for Trade and Crafts: Carole Delga
Secretary of State in charge of Digital Matters: Axelle Lemaire
Secretary of State in charge of Territorial Reform: André Vallini
Secretary of State for Sports: Thierry Braillard

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