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France waits for new government

Manuel Valls will appoint a new cabinet after handing in his government’s resignation to President Hollande yesterday

MANUEL Valls will today reveal his new-look cabinet after yesterday handing his government's resignation to President Francois Hollande amid an internal row over economic policy.

The announcement is expected at some time this afternoon.

Yesterday’s resignation of the entire French government - and today’s unveiling of a new-look cabinet - comes after economy minister Arnaud Montebourg publicly criticised what he saw as France’s obsession with deficit reduction at the expense of stimulating the economy, and launched a scathing attack on EU ally Germany.

Less than an hour after a 15-minute meeting with Mr Valls, Mr Montebourg said he would not be part of the new government and took the chance to again blast the policies of austerity that he said have catapulted France and Europe into a serious economic crisis.

Education minister Benoît Hamon and culture minister Aurelie Filippetti have also said they will not be seeking a post in President Hollande’s second government in five months.

In an open letter to the President in which she announced her self-imposed exile, Ms Filippetti warned that the government was risking “throwing our voters into the arms of the Front National”.

This latest reshuffle of the French top table comes five months after the last one, which was intended to promote a more pro-business line following the Socialists’ disastrous performance in the local elections at the end of March.

Le Monde has described this reshuffle as “the last chance for the president to save his five-year term”.

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