French president unveils cabinet

Sarkozy appoints seven women and names popular Socialist as foreign minister.

    Members of the government of Francois Fillon, the  newly appointed French prime minister [AFP] 
    The cabinet was named a day after Sarkozy named Francois Fillon as prime minister.


    Alain Juppe, a former prime minister, was named as number two at the head of a newly-formed environment, sustainable development, energy and transport "super-ministry".

    Bernard Kouchner, the former Socialist health minister and human-rights activist, was named foreign minister, an appointment that showed Sarkozy's desire to reach out across the political divide.

    Michele Alliot-Marie was switched to the interior ministry from defence with the centrist Herve Morin assuming her old job.

    Jean-Louis Borloo, the outgoing employment minister, heads up a new economic strategy ministry, and Eric Woerth heads a new public accounts ministry that will draw up the state budget.

    Immigrant face
    Another high-profile appointment is Rachida Dati, Sarkozy's election campaign spokeswoman, at the justice ministry. She becomes the first politician of North African origin to hold a top French government post.

    Brice Hortefeux, Sarkozy's closest political ally, will take charge of a new immigration and national identity ministry, while Xavier Bertrand will take charge of work, social relations and solidarity ministry.

    Other ministers include: Christine Lagarde, the minister of agriculture; Christine Boutin, the minister of social cohesion; Valerie Pecresse, the minister of higher education; Christine Albanel, the culture minister; Roselyne Bachelot, the health, youth and sports minister; and Xavier Darcos, the education minister.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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