The Prime Minister François Fillon has just announced a series of new austerity measures to produce a further 12 billion euros in savings for the government in 2011 and 2012. This follows a downgrading in the forecast for economic growth for both years. The measures include a new reduction in the benefits afforded by a variety of tax breaks and a temporary 3% tax on those with massive incomes. But, argues Laurent Mauduit, the overall package is just another sign of the government's incoherent and crazy economic policy. And one which he says risks tipping France back into recession.
First there was the scandal of French foreign minister Michèle Alliot-Marie's holidays in strife-torn Tunisia, now comes that of Prime Minister François Fillon's sojourn in Egypt courtesy of President Hosni Mubarak. The revelations have stunned opinion in France and made headlines around the world, prompting President Nicolas Sarkozy to tell ministers they must holiday in France from now on. Marine Turchi reports on the parliamentary turbulence caused by the latest jet-set holiday disclosures.
The French ministerial reshuffle in November appeared to announce the start of the 2012 presidential election campaign and an attempt to kickstart a government engulfed by scandals and social unrest. The new ministerial line-up saw a strengthening of ministers loyal to President Nicolas Sarkozy, a return of old-school Gaullists and the re-appointment of François Fillon as prime minister. It also saw the exit of the Centrists and figures from the renegade Left. Click here for Mediapart's reports and commentary, and the complete list of the new government team.
Many observers have interpreted the recent French government reshuffle as a sign of weakness on the part of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. On the contrary, argues Mediapart editor François Bonnet, the president has prepared a savvy tactic for re-election.
The long-awaited French government reshuffle, completed Sunday evening, has ushered in a ministerial team largely composed of President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party stalwarts, in a move that appears to launch the president's bid for re-election in 2012. Out go the Centrist movement heavyweights, along with the few renegades from the Left. Géraldine Delacroix and Michaël Hajdenberg sketch who's who and who's no more, and present the complete list of new government members.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has re-appointed François Fillon as prime minister, and the long-awaited ministerial reshuffle has happened. The president hopes it will turn a political page on a volatile social crisis and the scandals rocking his presidency. But, argues Mediapart's Laurent Mauduit, the stage-managed media rumours surrounding the future government and an abscence of political debate before its composition speak volumes about the president's attachment to democracy as well as the extent of a crisis within his own political camp.