Anger of French diplomats at Macron's 'jobs for friends' reform

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A reform promoting “internal mobility” has just been introduced at France's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ostensible aim of Emmanuel Macron's measure is to make the French senior civil service more flexible and less elitist. However, many diplomats see the American-style reforms at the ministry as a pretext to enable the head of state to appoint his political friends or business executives to plum diplomatic posts. They also think the president is settling scores with the diplomatic corps, whom the Élysée royally detests. The depth of feeling at the ministry is so strong that trade unions representing diplomats have called for a strike on June 2nd. René Backmann reports.

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France's new minister for foreign affairs Catherine Colonna will have found some pressing issues in her in-tray after her appointment to the new government last Friday May 20th. One, of course, is the dreadful war in Ukraine. But another is the almost unprecedented internal revolt that is taking place among the ministry's own diplomats from whose ranks Catherine Colonna herself comes, having most recently been French ambassador in London.