Members of the French Cabinet met at the Elysee Palace on Monday (12 March) for a working lunch with president Pompidou.
GV EXT Ministerial cars arrive at Elysee - Prime Minister Messmer leaves car, enters palace
GV M. Fontanat arrives, leaves car, enters palace
SV Finance Minister Giscard d'Estaing arrives, enters building
SV M. Mercellin arrives, enters
SV Windows of Elysee Palace
SV Newsmen (2 shots)
SV Prime Minister Messmer leaving
SV Giscard d'Estaing leaves
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Background: Members of the French Cabinet met at the Elysee Palace on Monday (12 March) for a working lunch with president Pompidou. It was their first gathering since the second polling round in the General Election on Sunday. The Gaullist Government was returned for another five years -- but with a reduced majority.
The cabinet meets officially for the first time on Wednesday (14 March). The government has to face growing discontent from Trade Unions, which have called for strong workers' action on wage demands.
Member of the French Cabinet wont to the Elysee Palace on Monday. It was their first meeting since Sunday's general election, which returned the Gaullists to power for another five years. Prime Minister Pierre Messmer was the first to arrive.
The occasion was a working lunch with President Pompidou. The first official cabinet meeting was to be held two days later.
In the election the Gaullists representation in the four-hundred-and-ninety-seat National Assembly was cut by a hundred seats. They've now got two-hundred-and-seventy-five seats, against one-hundred-and-seventy-six held by the socialist-communist coalition. But although the government retained power, they've lost a lot of popular support. In terms of votes cast, the alliance of the left received equal backing. Both groups polled about 46 per cent of the overall vote.
M. Messmer wouldn't comment after the lunch-time meeting. He wouldn't even say when he would be formally presenting the resignation of the old government, as required by French procedures.
But Finance Minister Valery Giscard d'Estaing did reveal that there'd been no discussions on the possible structure of the new cabinet. The Prime Minister, Pierre Messmer, referred to comment on his possible resignation.