Sarkozy says cabinet will stay until 2012 presidential vote
French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday said during a television interview that his reshuffled government would stay in place until the 2012 presidential election, barring unforeseen circumstances.
The interview broadcast on three French channels is aimed at setting out Sarkozy's political roadmap following the weekend reshuffle during which he renamed Francois Fillon as prime minister and up to the presidential election.
Sarkozy said that he chose Fillon because he was "the best prime minister for France".
"When I asked Francois Fillon to continue, it's because I have great trust in him, because he's very competent, because we've worked together for years without a cloud," Sarkozy told the three journalists interviewing him.
"A certain amount of stability helps to soothe a country that is in need."
Sunday's reshuffle resulted in a leaner, more conservative government, with several centre-right and left-wing ministers fired to produce a team more likely to fall in behind Sarkozy's deficit-cutting austerity agenda.
The reshuffle came after months of intrigue and mass street protests against Sarkozy's extension of the base retirement age from 60 to 62, the key plank of his presidency aimed at reducing France's debt.
© 2010 AFP