The new French Cabinet had its first full meeting on Monday (10 June), shortly after the nation had heard the news that the only dedicated reformist minister, M.
The new French Cabinet had its first full meeting on Monday (10 June), shortly after the nation had heard the news that the only dedicated reformist minister, M. Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, had been sacked for opposing the recently announced continuation of French nuclear tests in the pacific.
On Sunday afternoon, M. Servan-Schreiber, who leads the left-of-centre Reform Party, had spoken in his constituency of Nancy, against President Giscard D'Estaing's decision to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific. He accused Military officials of arranging the tests before consulting the Government.
M. Servan-Schreiber told his audience "In the name of France, bombs are going to explode in the skies of Polynesia. This is something I spoke out against with all my strength last year. I disapprove of it with the same conviction".
Within houres President D'Estaing had called Prime Minister Jacques Chirac to the Elysee Palace. When the Prime Minister came out of the meeting, he announced that M. Servan-Schreiber had been sacked from his post as Minister for Reforms.
The row is seen as a formidable test of President D'Estaing's attempt to create a more liberal-minded, progressive image for his Government. Other Ministers have been given a clear warning that controversy within the ranks is hardly more acceptable to the new President than it was to his predecessors.