France Thrown Into Political Turmoil After Government Dissolved

PM Manuel Valls told to form new government after minister's call to end austerity policies imposed by Germany triggers crisis
France Thrown Into Political Turmoil After Government Dissolved

Image Credits: girolame, Flickr

by Anne Penketh | The Guardian | August 25, 2014


France has entered uncharted political waters after the prime minister, Manuel Valls, presented his government’s resignation amid a political crisis triggered by his maverick economy minister who called for an end to austerity policies imposed by Germany.

The prime minister, a social democrat who has been compared to Tony Blair, acted with characteristic swiftness in a bid to reassert his authority. His aides had let it be known on Sunday that the economy minister, Arnaud Montebourg, had crossed a “yellow line” for his dual crime of criticising both the president of France and a valued ally.

Montebourg, 51, fired his first broadside in an interview with Le Monde on Saturday and followed up with a speech to a Socialist party rally the following day. In a veiled reference to President Fran├žois Hollande, he said that conformism was an enemy and “my enemy is governing”. “France is a free country which shouldn’t be aligning itself with the obsessions of the German right,” he said, urging a “just and sane resistance”.

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