France’s government of Prime Minister Manuel Valls has resigned; after senior ministers slammed President Francois Hollande’s plans for taxation and spending cuts, and called for alternative ways to Germany-led austerity to exit the crisis.
The statement published Monday said the new office would be formed on Tuesday and would be in the “direction he (the president) has defined for our country.”
Economic Minister Arnaud Montebourg said it was time to resist Germany’s “obsession” with austerity and work out some alternative ways to promote household consumption. He said that measures that had been introduced since the 2008 financial crisis were not doing anything to help the country’s economy grow.
“You have to raise your voice. Germany is trapped in an austerity policy that it imposed across Europe,” the Socialist minister said in the interview.
“France is the eurozone’s second-biggest economy, the world’s fifth-greatest power, and it does not intend to align itself, ladies and gentlemen, with the excessive obsessions of Germany’s conservatives,” the Economic Minister added.
The announcement comes after the country’s Education Minister Benoît Hamon criticized Hollande’s economic policy, calling to shift the focus form the deficit-reduction measures.
“The priority must be exiting crisis and the dogmatic reduction of deficits should come second,” Mr. Montebourg said in an interview with Le Monde published ahead of the annual Fête de la Rose meeting of Socialist Party activists at Frangy-en-Bresse in eastern France.
Finance Minister Michel Sapin said this month that if the economy did not pick up, France would miss its deficit-reduction target for this year. However, he stressed that there was no need to panic and that the government would continue cutting the deficit “at an appropriate pace”.
The Ministers reminded that the economic weakness was causing political extremism and could turn into recession.
Hollande is facing a lot of domestic pressure, due to his failure to get the economy moving in the right direction.
An Ifop poll on Sunday showed he was the most unpopular president in France in more than 50 years. Meanwhile, Valls, who was appointed to the position of Prime Minister in March, had an approval rating of just 36 percent.