Jean-Marc Ayrault

Greenpeace dismay over French government's 'negative' signals on the environment

France — Interview

Just weeks before a high-profile government conference on the environment, activist group Greenpeace has expressed its dissatisfaction with the stance taken by the new administration on green issues. In an interview with Mediapart, the organisation’s director Jean-François Julliard says he was “astonished” to hear that the prime minister has not ruled out the exploitation of shale gas in France. He also claims the government has so far shown “no strong commitment” on environmental issues as a whole, and says he fears ministers are proving vulnerable to lobbying from the oil industry. Jade Lindgaard reports.

The cautious couple – Hollande and Ayrault's sober style of government

France — Analysis

On Tuesday the new prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault outlined to the French Parliament the government’s legislative programme for the rest of the year. In addition to specific policies, the speech also highlighted the very different style of government France can expect under Ayrault and new president François Hollande. And, argues Stéphane Alliès, Ayrault has shown that politically he is not just a close colleague of Hollande – but a carbon copy.

France to tackle crushing debt, says French PM

France — Link

Jean-Marc Ayrault has called on the French people to rally behind the government to tackle a "crushing" and "unprecedented" debt crisis.

France to pass gay marriage, adoption law

France — Link

The new Socialist government is to legalize marriage and adoption for same-sex couples, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced.

France begins cuts in its own ministries as debt climbs

France — Link

Prime minister has announced plans to reduce staff numbers in most government ministries by 2.5 percent per year over the next three years.

Conviction from the past haunts 'honest' French PM Ayrault


French President François Hollande pledged during his election campaign to clean up French political governance, blighted by years of recurrent scandals and conflicts of interest. Among the promises he made was that anyone who had been convicted of crimes would be excluded from government. Yet Hollande’s first act after he was sworn in was to appoint Jean-Marc Ayrault as his prime minister who, when mayor of Nantes in 1997, received a suspended prison sentence for favouritism in the allocation of a city hall contract, described by a court of audit as “a serious infringement of the rules governing public contracts”. While Ayrault insists that “my personal integrity was never in question”, his lawyers argue that he has been legally rehabilitated and have threatened to sue those who engage in “character defamation” by publicly raising the affair. Mathilde Mathieu and Michel Deléan report.

French PM Ayrault is naughty word in Arabic

International — Link

France's new prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who is lauded for his fluent German, is proving to be a headache in Arabic.

Hollande and Ayrault, a delicate balancing act between two 'Mr Normals'

France — Analysis

The five years of the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy were hallmarked by his unprecedented involvement in the day-to-day running of government, from policy announcements to public appearances, leaving his prime minister, François Fillon, in a backstage role. It became dubbed as the ‘hyper presidency’, a dramatic change from that of his predecessors, who perceived their role as a more lofty, behind-the-scenes management of the major affairs of state while their prime ministers were placed at the political frontline. The arrival of François Hollande, self-styled as ‘Mr Normal’, is expected to herald an abrupt rupture with Sarkozy’s media-conscious and agitated presidential style.  But just what will be the power balance in his relationship with Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, a longstanding friend and political ally? Stéphane Alliès reports.

Hollande's new government: strict gender parity, and France's first black justice minister


France’s new socialist government was unveiled Wednesday evening, after an afternoon of prolonged talks between newly-elected President François Hollande and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. The list of 34 ministers – including 17 junior ministers – met Hollande’s promise to form a government with gender parity, and includes the creation of new ministries that announced the task ahead in tackling the economic crisis, like that of Productive Recovery. But the first surprise of the day was the news that Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry, once tipped for the post of prime minister, would not be included in Ayrault’s cabinet. Graham Tearse reports (a full list of the new government is presented on page three).

Jean-Marc Ayrault appointed French prime minister

France — Link

French President François Hollande has appointed Jean-Marc Ayrault as prime minister of an interim government ahead of legislative elections in June.

Favourite as next French PM is former German teacher

France — Link

Jean-Marc Ayrault, tipped to be next French PM, is a veteran parliamentary leader, former German teacher and long-time ally of François Hollande.