France's Hollande bans mobile phones from cabinet meetings

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French President François Hollande moved Wednesday to ban the use of mobile phones during cabinet meetings. Ministers will now be forced to leave their mobiles at the door, government spokesman Stéphane Le Foll told reporters.


"To focus on what we must do, the president has decided that there will be no more mobile phones in cabinet," Le Foll said.

"Each of us will now have to talk and listen to what is said and will no longer be able to tap away at this magnificent tool," he said.

Asked if Hollande himself had relinquished his phone, Le Foll said: "I didn't go and check."

Hollande, whose government is deeply unpopular as he struggles to revive France's stagnant economy, reshuffled his cabinet after his party saw huge losses in regional elections.

Manuel Valls, Hollande's youthful and dynamic interior minister, was made prime minister.

Also on Wednesday, Hollande appointed a close friend and former European affairs
minister, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, to the strategic post of presidential chief of staff.

Among other duties, Jouyet will be tasked with ensuring close coordination with Valls' new government.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)


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