French PM says to hold confidence vote

26th August 2014, Comments 0 comments

France's Prime Minister said Tuesday he would hold a parliamentary vote of confidence in September or October in his first public comments since a major political crisis forced him to reshuffle the cabinet.

"I will have the opportunity to hold a vote of confidence at the (lower house) National Assembly on a work programme... in September or in October," Manuel Valls said in a television interview.

"And you will see, the majority will be there. There can be no other way. If the majority isn't there on that occasion, it would be finished. We couldn't finish our work," he added.

Valls' pledge followed a reshuffle that saw left-wing ministers leave the cabinet, prompting fears of a split within the ruling Socialist Party, which holds a thin parliamentary majority.

He also defended the choice of Emmanuel Macron, a former Rothschild banker, as the new economy minister, replacing the leftist firebrand Arnaud Montebourg who sparked the crisis with public criticism of the government's economic policy.

"So what?" retorted Valls when asked about Macron's past at Rothschild. "Can one not in this country be an entrepreneur? One can't be a banker?"

"For years in this country we have created an ideological debate, we label people, we create divisions.... It is time in this country that, instead of being divided, we come together."

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© 2014 AFP

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