France’s PM Jean-Marc Ayrault names new government

France`s new Prime Minister, a moderate Socialist Jean-Marc Ayrault took office on Wednesday, a day after Francois Hollande took oath as country’s socialist President.

Updated: May 17, 2012, 00:36 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Paris: France`s new Prime Minister, a moderate Socialist Jean-Marc Ayrault took office on Wednesday and named his government, a day after Francois Hollande took oath as country’s socialist President.

Pierre Moscovici is the new finance minister and ex-PM Laurent Fabius has been named as foreign minister.

Most of the key posts have been given to Hollande`s close associates.

Ayrault and Hollande are said to be very close and sat next to each other in France`s National Assembly chamber.

He bid farewell to his predecessor, Francois Fillon by shaking hands with him and was welcomed at the Matignon Palace in central Paris.

"The essential thing ... is that we get to work very quickly in the service of the French people," Ayrault told reporters.

With no previous ministerial post, Ayrault has served as a deputy in the lower house since 1986. He is also mayor of the western city of Nantes.

Ayrault has led the country`s Socialists in the lower house of Parliament for more than a decade.
The new socialist government will hold their first official meeting on Thursday.