France's Hollande names Jean-Marc Ayrault as Prime Minister

Francois Hollande
Paris, May 16: Jean-Marc Ayrault, Mayor of Nantes since 1989, has been chosen by French President Francois Hollande to be the country's new Prime Minister.

"The President of the republic has named Jean-Marc Ayrault as Prime Minister and tasked him with forming a new government," the Elysee Palace said in a brief statement on May 15.

Ayrault, head of the Socialist bloc in Parliament, is a long time ally of Hollande who defeated Nicolas Sarkozy in a run-off to win the recent presidential election. Ayrault is expected to name his government tomorrow, ahead of its first cabinet session, likely on May 17.

This is the first time the 62-year-old will be holding a senior government post. According to observers, Ayrault's ability to speak German well will prove useful in building ties with France's powerful neighbour and tackling Hollande's goal of reshaping Europe's economic policies.


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