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Sarkozy reshuffles govt after vote disaster

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 12:51

Paris: French President Nicolas Sarkozy
sacked his labour minister and reshuffled his government after
a humiliating defeat by the left in regional elections.

Sarkozy replaced Labour Minister Xavier Darcos with
Budget Minister Eric Woerth in a key change yesterday as the
increasingly unpopular president limbered up for contested
pension reforms.

The minor reshuffle, which also saw Francois Baroin
taking Woerth`s job and the appointment of a new youth
minister and a new junior labour minister, came a day after
voters punished Sarkozy`s rightwing UMP party in the polls.

The second-round poll on Sunday left the UMP in charge of
only one of the regions of mainland France and Corsica in the
last ballot-box test of Sarkozy`s popularity before the 2012
presidential vote.

The results were "a big wake-up call for quick and
effective action" to tackle unemployment and other effects of
the economic crisis, the president`s chief of staff Claude
Gueant told.

Sarkozy was set to come under more pressure Tuesday when
labour unions plan strikes in dozens of towns and cities to
protest over the pension plans, jobs, wages and the high cost
of living.


First Published: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 12:51
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