21st Mar 2018

Valls picks investment banker as France's new economy minister

  • Appointing ex-merchant banker Emanuel Macron as his second finance economy minister was French PM Manuel Valls' most eye-catching move on Tuesday (Photo: Moyan Brenn)

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls appointed Emmanuel Macron, a 36-year-old former merchant banker, as his economy minister on Tuesday (26 August), as he unveiled his new government

Valls, who was himself appointed by President Francois Hollande in March, dissolved his administration on Monday after the left-wing economy minister Arnaud Montebourg criticised the government’s economic policies and accused Germany of having an “obsession” with budgetary austerity in two speeches over the weekend.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"France is a free country which shouldn't be aligning itself with the obsessions of the German right," Montebourg told a Socialist party rally on Sunday.

Macron, who was Hollande's top economic adviser until June and is regarded as being closer to French business, replaces Montebourg. The appointment is a clear signal that Hollande will not cede to the wishes of his party's left by u-turning on plans to reduce corporate tax rates and public spending and will stick to his deficit reduction pledges.

Finance minister Michel Sapin remains in post and has been charged with overseeing public accounts. Sapin has repeatedly promised that France will bring its budget deficit in line with EU rules even if it is likely to miss its 2015 target to bring it down to 3 percent of output.

Meanwhile, culture minister Aurelie Filippetti and education minister Benoit Hamon were other figures from the Socialist party’s left-wing to be left out of the new government as Hollande and Valls try to assert the dominance of the party’s moderate wing.

Dismal figures for the eurozone this month revealed that the bloc recorded zero growth between April and June, dealing a blow to hopes that 2014 would deliver a steady, albeit slow, recovery.

France flat-lined for the second quarter in a row, while Germany’s economy contracted on fears about the EU’s ongoing sanctions battle with Russia, and Italy fell back into recession.

Meanwhile, the euro fell to its lowest rate against the US dollar, at $1.315, in eleven months on Tuesday amid mounting speculation that the European Central Bank will soon announce a large-scale bond-buying programme – known as quantitative easing – in a bid to stimulate more economic activity. German authorities are also expected to report tomorrow that their inflation rates have stalled.

Hollande invokes constitution to force through economic reform bill

French president Francois Hollande faced down a mass rebellion by his governing Socialist party on Tuesday, invoking a seldom-used procedure in the French constitution to force through a controversial bill aimed at liberalising the French economy.

US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions

Washington would still like to block a planned gas pipeline between Russia and Germany but is not yet considering hitting companies involved in the project.

US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions

Washington would still like to block a planned gas pipeline between Russia and Germany but is not yet considering hitting companies involved in the project.

News in Brief

  1. EU leaders expected to approve Brexit future talks guidelines
  2. Tusk: EU must 'continue to engage' with US on trade
  3. European elections set for 23-26 May 2019
  4. EU tries to find common candidate for top UN food job
  5. Facebook post triggers Norway no-confidence vote
  6. Merkel: 'no reason' to sanction Schroeder for Russia support
  7. MEPs and Council strike deal on posted workers' rights
  8. EU parliament to investigate Facebook data 'breach'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverHiring - Sales Associate With 2+ Years Experience - Apply Now!
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?