Close Hollande ally Sapin named French finance minister

PARIS Wed Apr 2, 2014 5:36am EDT

French Labour, Employment and Social Dialogue Minister Michel Sapin speaks during a visit at Reuters in Paris, March 28, 2014. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

French Labour, Employment and Social Dialogue Minister Michel Sapin speaks during a visit at Reuters in Paris, March 28, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Christian Hartmann

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PARIS (Reuters) - Michel Sapin, a long-time political ally of President Francois Hollande who was his labor minister, was named to the powerful finance minister post on Wednesday.

Arnaud Montebourg, who as industry minister backed protectionism to secure jobs and accused the European Union of hurting growth with its demands for lower public deficits, was given the expanded title of economy minister with oversight over industry and the digital economy.

In a statement read out on the steps of Hollande's Elysee Palace, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was re-confirmed in his post and handed additional duties for international development.

(Reporting by Mark John; editing by Nicholas Vinocur)

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