French President Francois Hollande has asked his Prime Minister Manuel Valls to form a new government for the second time in five months as the French economy continues to buckle under the weight of high unemployment and zero growth.
The unspoken catalyst was Hollande's feud with his own economy minister, which spilled out into the open over the weekend. From the AFP:
The presidency did not give any reasons, but the move came after Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg bad-mouthed France's economic direction and the austerity policies of European powerhouse Germany, angering Valls.
"You have to raise your voice. Germany is trapped in an austerity policy that it imposed across Europe," Montebourg said in an interview with Le Monde newspaper published Saturday.
Hollande wants to stay the course, Montebourg wants dramatic change, Valls wants minister not to be subordinate, and the European Union wants France to get its act together.
Meanwhile, Hollande's approval ratings and France's unemployment rate aren't far apart, with the former in the teens and the latter hovering around 10 percent.
As the news spreads west, expect reactions along the lines of this:
If you want a picture of a Labour Britain, look at Socialist France. pic.twitter.com/wmmZYN3oW7— Daniel Hannan (@DanHannanMEP) August 25, 2014
According to the AP, France will form a new government by tomorrow.