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14 secretaries of state revealed

Outgoing secretary general Pierre-René Lemas reveals names of 14 secretaries of state in France's 'fighting government'

FRANCE’S slimmed-down “fighting government” was finalised this afternoon, with the announcement of 14 secretaries of state to complement the 16 ministers in new Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ cabinet.

It is two more posts than many pundits were expecting but is still smaller than the government of former Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. Like the new cabinet, features an equal number of men and women.

Mr Ayrault and his entire government resigned following the Socialists’ dismal showing in France’s local elections in March.

Unlike in the UK where a secretary of state is a cabinet minister in charge of a major ministry, a French sécretaire d'état is a junior minister in charge of a specialised area under the authority of one of the cabinet ministers.

They do not normally sit in on cabinet meetings

The secretaries of state, as announced by the outgoing Secretary General of the Élysée Palace Pierre-René Lemas, at 4.30pm today are:

Jean-Marie Le Guen: Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs

Harlem Désir: Secretary of State for European Affairs

Fleur Pellerin: Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Development of tourism and French overseas

Christian Eckert: Secretary of State for the Budget

Annick Girardin: Secretary of State for Development

André Vallini: Secretary of State in charge of Territorial Reform

Axelle Lemaire: Secretary of State for Digital

Frédéric Cuvillier: Secretary of State for Transport and fisheries

Laurence Rossignol: Secretary of State for Family and the Elderly

Thierry Bawler: Secretary of State for Sports

Valérie Fourneyron: Secretary of State for Trade and Crafts

Geneviève Fioraso: Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research

Ségolène Neuville: Secretary of State responsible for People with Disabilities and the Fight against Exclusion

Kader Arif: Secretary of State for War Veterans and War Memorials

Mr Lamas, who made the announcement on the steps of the Élysée Palace, will be replaced on April 16 by Jean-Pierre Jouyet, a confidant of President Francois Hollande and currently CEO of the Caisse des Depots et Consignations and president of the Public Investment Bank.

This afternoon’s announcement came after the second meeting of Mr Valls’ cabinet this morning and following his first appearance in Parliament after his government won the traditional vote of confidence yesterday.

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