15 Nov 2010

French PM reappointed in cabinet reshuffle

12:08 pm on 15 November 2010

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has, as expected reappointed Francois Fillon as prime minister in a ministerial reshuffle, but has replaced his defence and foreign ministers.

The government had a day earlier handed in its resignation in a procedural move paving the way for the changes, the rest of which are still to be announced.

The incoming government will be in charge of implementing policy in the run-up to the next presidential elections in 2012.

Mr Fillon, who power in 2007, said he would focus on jobs and the economy. The BBC reports he is seen as a calm and steadying figure whose popularity ratings regularly exceed those of the president, and Mr Sarkozy has clearly decided that he needs his reassuring presence at the helm.

Defence Minister Herve Morin was replaced by Alain Juppe, a former prime minister and protege of former President Jacques Chirac, while Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was replaced by Michele Alliot-Marie, justice minister in the last cabinet.