Hollande confirms Valls as PM

March 31, 2014 21:21

PARIS - French President Francois Hollande said on Monday he had named Interior Minister Manuel Valls to be his new prime minister, replacing Jean-Marc Ayrault, in a government reshuffle triggered by a rout for his Socialists in local elections.

Addressing the country in a short televised speech, Hollande said a key objective for the new government would be pursuing the so-called "responsibility pact" to lower employers' costs in order to spur job creation.

But in a new move, he also said he would lower taxes and worker contributions and said France would have to persuade EU partners to take into account its efforts to boost the economy when examining its commitments to Brussels.

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