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Text by Sophie PILGRIM

Latest update : 2013-05-13

French Socialist Ségolène Royal said on Monday that internal strife at the ministry of finance had become "intolerable" and called for a cabinet reshuffle, but denied seeking a ministerial post.

In a string of media interviews on Sunday and Monday, former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal slammed President François Hollande’s ministry of economy and finance for what she said was “intolerable backbiting”. The Socialist regional governor also called for a cabinet reshuffle but denied seeking a ministerial post.

Who’s who at Bercy

Finance Minister: Pierre Moscovici.
Consumer Affairs Minister: Benoît Hamon.
Budget Minister: Bernard Cazeneuve (who replaced Jérôme Cahuzac following his tax evasion admission).
Industrial Renewal Minister: Aranud Montebourg.

“What is intolerable, especially for those struggling to create movement and jobs, is this backbiting between ministers,” she said on French radio station France Inter on Monday. “We must put an end to this and restructure what we call Bercy [the ministry of finance].”

“This is the ministry everyone is looking to right now,” she added. In a separate interview with French daily Le Monde on Monday, she described the ministry as “a vast galaxy” and said that everybody knew it needed restructuring. “This is no secret, the president has said it himself,” she said.

Royal also criticised Hollande’s government for dragging its feet on election promises such as same-sex marriage, which was legalised in April. “The marriage equality bill should have been passed last summer,” she said.

Personal ambition

Questioned over her own ambitions to be appointed a minister, Royal said it was “not on the cards,” but added that “whatever happened” she would certainly run for re-election as regional governor in Poitou-Charentes, a role she has held since 2004.

Royal's new book, 'Cette belle idée du courage'.

In February, Royal was appointed director of the new Public Investment Bank, a state-owned institution charged with financing small businesses.

But before that she suffered a string of political defeats since losing the 2007 presidential election to Nicolas Sarkozy. She failed to secure a seat in parliament in June after suffering an embarrassing defeat to a Socialist rival – who was notoriously endorsed on Twitter by Hollande’s girlfriend Valérie Trierweiler in what became a national scandal. She was further disappointed in June when Hollande chose not to appoint her to his cabinet.

Royal, who is the former partner of Hollande and mother to his four children, is currently promoting her book, “Cette belle idée du courage,” (loosely translatable as “A Grand Vision of Courage”).


Date created : 2013-05-13


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