- Austerity - economy - France - François Hollande - French economy - French politics - Jean-Marc Ayrault
French minister sacked for criticising budget
French Environment Minister Delphine Batho was fired from the government Tuesday after she described budget cuts as “bad” for her ministry on French radio earlier in the day. French ministers are not supposed to criticise policy decisions publicly.
French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday sacked his environment minister Delphine Batho for describing this year's belt-tightening budget as a "bad" one for her ministry.
Batho, whose ministry's budget was cut by seven percent, is the first minister in the Socialist government to be axed for criticising policy. She is being replaced by Socialist lawmaker Philippe Martin.
The 40-year-old was earlier summoned by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. French ministers are traditionally not supposed to criticise policy decisions publicly even if they are personally opposed to them.
However, the outspoken Minister for Industrial Renewal, Arnaud Montebourg, has not been dropped despite criticising his peers several times and even questioning economic policy.
The sacking comes amid efforts by Paris to bring its budget deficit down to European Union norms.
French government spending is set to fall next year for the first time since 1958 owing to a slew of austerity measures.
Ministries are expected to achieve a cut of about 1.5 billion euros ($2.0 billion) in central government spending in 2014 from this year's level.
France aims to cut the budget deficit to 3.9 percent of gross domestic product this year, then 3.6 percent in 2014 and 2.8 percent in 2015.