From deglobalisation to cutting business costs: has France's industry supremo changed his political spots?


As a contender to be the Socialist Party's presidential candidate a year ago Arnaud Montebourg railed against high-finance and publicly backed deglobalisation and protectionism. But last week the man who is now France’s industrial recovery minister showered a report calling for sharp cuts in labour costs with fulsome praise. His friends insist there is no contradiction. However some wonder whether Montebourg has undergone a political conversion since becoming a government minister. Mediapart’s Lénaïg Bredoux reports.

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A year ago Arnaud Montebourg, France’s Minister of Productive Recovery, a fancy title that corresponds broadly to the role of industry minister, was a contender to be the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate identified with the party’s left wing. The book he wrote to expound his programme was called Des idées et des rêves ['Ideas and Dreams'], and expressed his support for deglobalisation and protectionism.