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French government resigns - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Manuel Valls (L) and then-Minister for Industrial Recovery Arnaud Montebourg (R) at the National Assembly in Paris, on January 8, 2014. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files)

Manuel Valls (L) and then-Minister for Industrial Recovery Arnaud Montebourg (R) at the National Assembly in Paris, on January 8, 2014. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files)

Paris, Reuters—French Prime Minister Manuel Valls presented his government’s resignation on Monday, a day after Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg called for new economic policies and questioned neighbor Germany’s “obsession” with budgetary rigor.


President François Hollande asked Valls four months ago to form a new team, but Valls has continually had to reconcile policy differences between leftists such as Montebourg and more centrist members of his Socialist-led government.

Hollande’s office said in a statement a new government would be formed on Tuesday in line with the “direction he [the president] has defined for our country.” Montebourg at the weekend said deficit-reduction measures carried out since the 2008 financial crisis were crippling the eurozone’s economies and he urged governments to change course or lose their voters to populist and extremist parties.

Finance Minister Michel Sapin acknowledged this month that weak growth would mean France missing its deficit-reduction target for this year, but he stressed that the government would continue cutting the deficit “at an appropriate pace.”

The weakness of the economy was a major factor in Valls’ approval rating dropping to a new low of 36 percent this month. Hollande, meanwhile, remained the most unpopular president in more than half a century, an Ifop poll showed on Sunday.

Valls was appointed to lead the government in a Cabinet reshuffle in March, after the ruling Socialists suffered a bruising defeat in local elections.