French President Reshuffles Government After Elections Loss

French President Francois Hollande said on Monday he had named Interior Minister Manuel Valls to be his new prime minister, replacing Jean-Marc Ayrault, in a government reshuffle triggered by a rout for his Socialists in local elections.

Addressing the country in a short televised speech, Hollande said a key objective for the new government would be pursuing the so-called “responsibility pact” to lower employers’ costs in order to spur job creation.

But in a new move, he also said he would lower taxes and worker contributions and said France would have to persuade EU partners to take into account its efforts to boost the economy when examining its commitments to Brussels.

Nicholas Spiro of Spiro Sovereign Strategy described Valls as “Sarkozy-lite,” a reference to Hollande’s predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy.

“Valls is important because he can improve the politics of economic reforms, as he would be viewed as a more credible prime minister,” Spiro said. “He is a Sarkozy-lite: he is tough on crime, tough on immigration. He is an economic reformer, which is obviously very important as far as the markets are concerned.”
Spiro added, “The real positive about Valls is that France would be getting a premier who is popular, credible, still relatively young and with a lot of charisma.”

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza