After a day and a half of protracted negotiations following the forced exit of three rebels from his cabinet, the French prime minister, Manuel Valls, on Tuesday night appointed a new economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, a former investment banker on the right of the Socialist party.
As President François Hollande struggled to overcome a political crisis sparked by leftwing dissidents who campaigned against the Socialist government's austerity policies, Valls also announced that finance minister Michel Sapin, a close ally of Hollande, was being put in charge of overseeing public accounts. Macron is close to Sapin and Hollande, which should ensure that the government in future speaks with one voice on economic policy.
Five months after putting Valls in charge of a "fighting" government, Hollande had demanded "clarity" and "coherence" following the surprise resignation of the cabinet, including the economy minister, Arnaud Montebourg.
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