World, Economy, Europe

French economy minister quits

Reports suggest Emmanuel Macron’s resignation comes as he prepares to run for presidency next year

Hajer M'tırı   | 30.08.2016
French economy minister quits

Ile-de-France

 PARIS 

French economy minister resigned Tuesday after repeatedly criticizing the government’s policies, according to an Elysee statement.

It remains unclear if Emmanuel Macron would now present his candidacy for the French presidency next year.

Macron was replaced by the current French finance minister Michel Sapin, Elysee said in a statement.

"The minister of the economy presented his resignation to the president today in order to concentrate on his own political movement," read the statement.

He announced his resignation to his staff on Tuesday afternoon after informing President Francois Hollande Monday morning.

"He told his Cabinet... that he would leave the government after he tenders his resignation to the president this afternoon," Radio France International reported, quoting one of his aides.

Macron left his ministry’s headquarters in a riverboat and headed to the presidential palace where he handed his resignation to Hollande.

The 38-year-old minister founded his own political movement “En Marche!” (On the move) last April. Some of his fellow socialists saw the move as a challenge to the authority of the French president and the government of Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

The former Rothschild banker first joined the Elysee palace as an economy adviser in wake of Hollande’s presidential victory in 2012. He was then dubbed as Hollande’s “right brain”.

On August 26, 2014, Macron was appointed as the minister of economy, industry and digital technology, after the forced departure of Arnaud Montebourg. Speaking last month in front of his supporters, Macron vowed to lead the movement "to 2017 and to victory,” giving a hint about his presidential ambitions.

According to local media reports, Macron told his staff he wanted to "regain his freedom", focus on his own movement but he would not declare his candidacy for the presidential polls yet.

The Elysee also announced that Minister for Overseas Territories George Pau-Langevin resigned for “personal reasons”, who would be succeeded by Ericka Bareigts, currently an adviser at the Prime Ministry.


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