What is happening in France?
French PM Manuel Valls has submitted his resignation after President Francois Hollande asked him to form a new government in compliance with the President’s vision for the country, without the rebellious ministers who had gone public criticizing government’s austerity measures.
Arnaud Montebourg, the economy minister who is the left wing French Socialist had actively campaigned against globalisation. He was third in line to be considered for the post of President in 2011 elections. Banking on his senior standing in the party and the importance of his portfolio, he gave dissenting views in an interview with Le Monde newspaper, saying that Germany which was itself struggling with big economic crisis is caught in an austerity policy that it loved to impose on European countries. He said, France should not adhere to such rules which were not part of French decisions. He was backed by Benoit Hamon, the education minister and the culture minister Aurelie Filippetti. Mr. Hamon, reiterated Montebourg’s vision of putting an end to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Europe directions. Montebourg,Hamon and Filippetti are set to lose their jobs in the new government which will be formed by Tuesday.
France is grappling with a serious economic downturn with very little growth and rising unemployment. Mr Montebourg in an interview with French radio just before Mr Valls announced the government’s resignation said, he had no regrets about his remarks, in which he called for a “just and sane resistance” to the “excessive obsessions of Germany’s conservatives”.
The poll ratings of Hollande and Valls has sunk to new lows of 36% and 17% respectively. This comes in the wake of brewing financial crisis and grim economic growth and future outlook. French Finance Minister has unveiled uncomfortable statistics of another quarter of zero growth in France and the possibility of achieving 1% growth remains remote. The French economic growth will be much weaker than expected as stated in a new economic survey.