The axe looks increasingly likely to fall on France’s embattled foreign minister, with claims she will not be in the job beyond this weekend.
Michele Alliot-Marie is in trouble over a series of gaffes during the uprising in Tunisia. She and her partner, also a minister, holidayed there as deadly protests were raging. Her family has also been linked to a real estate deal with a Tunisian associate of deposed President Ben Ali.
Trips in the businessman’s private plane by the minister, her parents and partner sparked the scandal. She also offered French security forces’ support to the Ben Ali regime as it was trying to put down the rebellion.
Widely tipped to replace her in the French Foreign Office is veteran conservative Alain Juppe, a former prime minister and current defence minister.