Macron poised to shuffle government


French President Emmanuel Macron is poised to unveil his new team after two weeks of confusion over the timing and scope of his cabinet shuffle fueled speculation of a split between him and his prime minister.
The reshuffle was set off by the October 2 resignation of the interior minister, with Macron saying he would “ take the necessary time, with calm” to make his choices. French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said on Monday that the team change would happen in the next 24 hours. The president’s office has given no indication of its plans.
Macron’s opponents say the team change will make little difference to the slide in his popularity in the 16 months he’s been in office. Surveys show that the messy resignation of his interior minister Gerard Collomb, a political heavyweight and one of his earliest backers, and the confusion surrounding the reorganisation of the government have dented Macron’s reputation for running a tight ship. Macron’s office has denied French media reports that he and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe disagreed over the extent of the reshuffle, over candidates and the constitutional tools to use to make the changes. Instead, it says the delay stems from the need to maintain a political and gender balance in the cabinet, and the vetting of all candidates to avoid repeating earlier resignations of ministers for
tax reasons.

No Deadend
“There is much noise around the date but the government is in full form,” Labor Minister Muriel Penicaud said on France Inter radio on Sunday. “We’re not at a deadend but I can see how difficult it is for commentators to have no news for 10 days !”
Penicaud said she was confident she would be maintained in her position. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has been lobbying to keep his job, calling for continuity and stability to maintain the pace of reform. For his part, the prime minister defended the government during parliamentary session October 10. “I can assure you there is no weakness in this government, no impatience,” Philippe told lawmakers.

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