France Interview

'Monarchical' France needs Sixth Republic says ex-minister

Three high-profile ministers left the government when it was reshuffled at the end of August, having signalled their disagreement with the economic policy being pursued by President François Hollande. Former minister for the economy Arnaud Montebourg and ex-education minister Benoît Hamon have both recently returned to the political fray, with more public criticism of the direction the administration is taking. Now, in an exclusive interview with Mediapart, the third minister, former culture boss Aurélie Filippetti, talks about how her “conscience” compelled her to leave government, the need for a fresh approach to the economy and her wish for a major reform of the French Constitution to make government “less monarchical”. She spoke to Lénaïg Bredoux.

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Just over a month after being removed from the government, Arnaud Montebourg, the former economy minister, has emerged from a brief period of silence to continue his attack on the government's “austerity” policy. In particular he has criticised the government's “obstinate” attempt to meet budget deficit targets which he says has become a“kind of obsessional cult”. The former education minister Benoît Hamon, who made it clear he did not want to join the new government formed by prime minister Manuel Valls at the end of August, has meanwhile regretted the government's “unkept promises” since it was voted into power in 2012 and attacked what he called the “dismantling of the state”.

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