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Can ex-banker revive French economy?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 01:52

President Francois Hollande has appointed a former Rothschild partner as Economy Minister in a bid to revive the stagnant French economy. Ciara Lee asks how the change is being seen in France and beyond.

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They arrived for a cabinet meeting together - the Economy and Finance ministers - and many in France hope they'll stay united. Emmanuel Macron is the new boy - he's only 36 and a relatively unknown former investment banker. As Economy Minister in a country with almost zero growth he has a tough job. But Christain Delporte a French Professor of Political Sciences says the new government offers clarity instead of compromise. (SOUNDBITE) (French) POLITICAL SCIENCES PROFESSOR CHRISTIAN DELPORTE SAYING: "The bet that Hollande is making is that with this new government, which is right in line with Brussels, he will be able to better negotiate with Europe which will improve his chances of restarting France's economy." Macron was previously Francois Hollande's top economic adviser. And with the President's current dire popularity rating some might argue he didn't do a good job. But Macron is thought to have the corporate world's ear. And his appointment is seen as a sign Hollande will finally focus on pro-business policies. Pierre Briancon is from Reuters Breakingviews (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS COLUMNIST, PIERRE BRIANCON, SAYING: "He's been at the core of things. He knows what the government wants to do and he is going to be much more credible with international markets and France's partners in the euro zone. Government's like Germany." Building trust in the new cabinet is key - infighting hampered the previous one. But it's a difficult time in Europe, says HSBC's Daragh Maher. SOUNDBITE: Daragh Maher, FX Strategy Director, HSBC, saying (English): "How do you set policy when there's a pressure for austerity, when there's pressure for more ECB easing all these kind of conflicting forces and of course you've got elections coming up. I'm not sure it's a turning point." But the cabinet reshuffle needs to be a turning point for Hollande. It's the second time in two years he's revamped his government - it could be his last chance to make a success of his presidency.

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Can ex-banker revive French economy?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 01:52