(Fixes garbled words in last paragraph)
By Emmanuel Jarry
PARIS, June 10 Francois Hollande has chosen a
senior economist at a U.S. bank as his new top economic advisor,
an official in the French president's office said on Tuesday, as
France tries to sustain a sputtering economic recovery.
Emmanuel Macron is stepping down as Hollande's advisor and
will be replaced by Bank of America Merrill Lynch's chief
European economist, Laurence Boone, the official said.
Boone holds a doctorate from the London Business School and
sits on the board of French luxury goods group Kering.
Before joining Merrill Lynch in London, she was an economist at
Barclays in Paris and before that worked at the Paris-based
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Boone was not immediately available for comment, but in an
earlier interview with Reuters, she said Hollande had little
choice but to push ahead with his current policies.
"Early elections would make his parliament majority collapse,
switching to a policy completely focused on demand is not
possible now in Europe, deeper reforms would not fit with the
government's strategy to keep the left of the party on board,"
Boone told Reuters on May 27. "This leaves the option of
continuing like before, by default."
In the same interview, she cast doubt on whether the
government will meet its forecast for 1.0 percent growth this
year and on how likely it may be to cut the public deficit in
line with the EU target of three percent of GDP next year.
As deputy chief of staff, Macron oversaw economic policy as
Hollande struggled to revive the euro zone's second-biggest
economy. A former Rothschild partner, he was the business
community's ear at the Elysee presidential palace, otherwise
stuffed with career technocrats with little experience in the
He was also one of the main architects of Hollande's shift
towards more market-friendly policies at the start of the year,
with plans to phase out 30 billion euros ($41 billion) in
company payroll taxes over three years.
Hollande's popularity has collapsed as he failed to live up
to promises he would turn around a stagnant economy and cut back
Macron's departure was one of several announced on Tuesday.
Hollande had already seen his chief communications adviser and
speech writer, Aquilino Morelle, stand down in April on
accusations of past conflict of interest linked to his work with
a pharmaceutical firm. Morelle denies any wrongdoing.
His ejection came just two days after Hollande tapped a
former class-mate at the elite ENA civil service college,
Jean-Pierre Jouyet, to be his head of staff, replacing
($1 = 0.7345 Euros)
(Additional reporting by Ingrid Melander; Writing by Leigh
Thomas; Editing by Larry King)