French President Sarkozy names Cabinet

Humanitarian crusader Bernard Kouchner is France's new foreign minister.

nicolas sarkozy 298.88 (photo credit: )
nicolas sarkozy 298.88
(photo credit: )
President Nicolas Sarkozy named his first Cabinet on Friday, radically revamping the government, with nearly as many women as men and humanitarian crusader Bernard Kouchner as France's new foreign minister. Other appointments included former Prime Minister Alain Juppe in charge of the environment - an area Sarkozy says is a priority - and Jean-Louis Borloo as minister for the economy and labor. The Cabinet, trimmed to 15 ministers, offered both youth and experience, and near-equal distribution among the sexes. Former Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie was named interior minister, and Sarkozy campaign adviser Rachita Dati will head the Justice Ministry. The president also named longtime friend Brice Hortefeux to lead a new Ministry of Immigration, Integration and National Identity - another Sarkozy innovation - aimed at helping unite a country with rising ethnic diversity and tensions. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the conservative-led government was left-wing Kouchner, a co-founder of the Nobel Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders medical charity. Sarkozy reached over the political divide also in selecting Herve Morin, of a rival center-right party, as defense minister. The posts were announced by presidential chief of staff Claude Gueant outside the presidential palace.