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Holland tries to relaunch his flagging government

Holland tries to relaunch his flagging government
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French President François Hollande has held a special cabinet meeting ahead of an expected reshuffle, a year into office and the most unpopular president in the history of the fifth republic, according to opinion polls.

He has called on his government to make 2013 a year of results, and is set to unveil a 10-year infrastructure investment programme to stimulate the economy.

“The president had a very combative and motivating speech and I can tell you that during those four working hours every government member showed their willingness to work together as a group to serve the common interest, to serve the French.
We are now putting into practice the structural reforms which have already been adopted to boost employment during this year, this first year in power, and the results will start to show in the coming months,” said the government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault appears likely to avoid the presidential guillotine for the time being, but the Socialists face pressure from both right and left. The hard left was out in force in Paris on Sunday in a rally calling for a more radical approach to tackling France’s problems.