Sarkozy’s cabinet team announced

Sarkozy’s cabinet team announced
# 18 May 2007 14:24 (UTC +04:00)
Nicolas Sarkozy named new cabinet team. The government includes members not only from governing UMP but centrist and left oppositionists, APA reports.
The new Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, 67, is a socialist best-known for having founded the aid organization Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF).
Prime Minister Francois Fillon’s team of 15 includes former PM Alain Juppe, to handle environmental policy.
Former Social Cohesion Minister Jean-Louis Borloo will manage the economy and employment.
He faces the tough job of reducing France’s high unemployment rate of 8.3% and pushing through tax cuts and labour market reforms, in line with Mr Sarkozy’s promise of a "rupture" with the past.
The appointment of Mr Kouchner, who has also served in a socialist government, to a centre-right cabinet, meanwhile follows President Sarkozy’s call for a "government of all the talents". Mr Kouchner’s was one of the few French politicians to support the US-led military operations in Iraq in 2003, on the grounds that it would topple Saddam Hussein. Mr Fillon’s cabinet numbers just 15 ministers, rather than the previous 30.
Jacques Chirac’s former PM Mr Juppe will head a ministry overseeing sustainable development, environment and transport. It is a dramatic comeback for the senior Chirac ally who was given a suspended jail sentence for his role in a Paris city hall funding scandal. As minister of state he is now the number two in the cabinet.
France will now have its first ethnic minority figure in a senior cabinet post, with Rachida Dati named as justice minister. She was Mr Sarkozy’s campaign spokeswoman and has strongly backed his ideas on affirmative action to counter racial discrimination in the jobs market.
Former defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie goes to the interior ministry. She was a loyal follower of Mr Chirac and was the first woman to lead the governing UMP’s right-wing predecessor, the Gaullist RPR party.
Former Trade Minister Christine Lagarde is going to agriculture - a key job, with world trade discussions going on and EU farming subsidies up for debate again soon.
The other women appointed include Culture Minister Christine Albanel, Health and Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot and Higher Education Minister Valerie Pecresse.
Defense has gone to centrist MP Herve Morin, who heads the UDF party in parliament.
The new Ministry of Immigration and National Identity will be headed by Mr Sarkozy’s long-time friend and ally, Brice Hortefeux. /APA/