French Government Resigns amid Uprisings from Within

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After the shenanigans of Arnaud Montebourg (above), Manuel Valls tenders the resignation of his government to President Hollande

Minister for Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg and his colleague at Education Benoît Hamon precipitated quite a crisis when they openly criticised the economic policy being pursued by the government of Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

That one of the most senior ministers responsible for implementing economic policy should openly criticise the economic policy of his own government is, to put it mildly (as Libération put it today) “inhabituelle“. Le Figaro probably had a better stab at trying to decipher the development by referring to it as a “shot from a bazooka” from Montebourg.

It was, of course, a criticism which made Montebourg’s position untenable and, after he reiterated his rebellious utterances on national radio this morning, Manuel Valls’s office released a statement and a copy of his letter to the President of the Republic confirming that the government is to be dissolved.

Just what economic policy to pursue is a question of ferocious debate in France these days. Essentially, nothing appears to be working as economic indicators worsen. Last month, the head of the main employers’ union criticised the national plan for recovery, even though he was one of its main signatories.

It will give Hollande plenty to occupy himself after his holiday break down in the South of France with relatives and his actress lady friend. Valls remains PM and says that he will announce the new government (surely shorn of the treacherous upstarts Hamon and Montebourg) tomorrow.

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