France's Hollande ejects rebel minister Montebourg from cabinet

August 25th, 2014  
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Topic: France's Hollande ejects rebel minister Montebourg from cabinet

By Ingrid Melander and Alexandria Sage PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande on Monday called for a cabinet reshuffle, evicting from his government rebel leftist ministers who had argued for an economic policy U-turn away from budgetary rigor. The surprise move - which risks deepening the confrontation between Hollande and more left-wing lawmakers - came a day after outspoken Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg attacked euro zone powerhouse Germany for ruining the region's economy with what he called an "obsession" with economic austerity. Montebourg did not wait for Prime Minister Manuel Valls to announce a new cabinet, which he is scheduled to do on Tuesday, before stepping up his attacks and declaring he and two other left-wing ministers would not seek roles in it. "We must have the intellectual and political courage to acknowledge that austerity policies are making deficits worse instead of narrowing them," Montebourg said before walking out of the room to the applause of his staff.


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