The 36 members of the new French cabinet met for the first time on Saturday (28 August) since the government reshuffle.
The 36 members of the new French cabinet met for the first time on Saturday (28 August) since the government reshuffle. President Valery Giscard d'Estaing told the ministers he expected a strong, united team and warned that no failures could be tolerated.
SYNOPSIS: The meeting took pace at government headquarters in the Elysee Palace. The cabinet change has underlined the French President's determination to fight the increasingly urgent problems of inflation and a weak currency. M. Giscard's plans received opposition from some members of the former cabinet, leading to the reshuffle. Monsieur Raymond Barre replaced Monsieur Jacques Chirac as Prime Minister. The former Premier left after a polity dispute with President Giscard.
Monsieur Barre told newsmen the primary task for the government was the direction of the nations's affairs. When difficult problems arose. he said, it was for the government to solve them. Monsieur Barre will be directly involved with some of the main French problems as he also holds the position of Finance Minister in the new cabinet. He told ministers at the Elysee meeting that he intended to make contact with the trade unions within two weeks to discuss anti-inflationary measures.
But he warned the ministers that they should concentrate on serving the nation and steer clear of party political intrigue.