The information in the following post is a condensation of an article in Nouvel Observateur.
Nicolas Sarkozy has reshuffled his cabinet, sending former ministers of Justice and Agriculture Rachida Dati and Michel Barnier, respectively, to the EU Parliament, and replacing them with Michèle Alliot-Marie and Bruno Le Maire. Besides her new post as Keeper of the Seals, Alliot-Marie, one of Sarkozy's most faithful and obedient servants, has been granted the rare and honorary title of Minister of State, a title held also by Jean-Louis Borloo, currently minister of Ecology and Environment.
Note: The Minister of State in France is a preeminent position, held by a personality who performs a multiplicity of duties, and who becomes, in fact, a "vice prime minister".
Brice Hortefeux, another Sarkozy favorite, has inherited the coveted post of Interior Minister from Alliot-Marie, whose major contributions seem to have been to watch as Kalashnikov rifles were used against the police, and to break the Ramadan fast every year with an obvious good appetite for the task.
Xavier Darcos leaves the post of minister of Education (apparently he wanted to leave) and goes to the ministry of Labor, while Luc Chatel, a government spokesman, takes over as Education minister, without giving up his post as spokesman.
A while back Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner had made waves when he said he regretted creating a position in his ministry for a secretary of State on Human Rights. The position had been held by Rama Yade, a Senegalese Socialist who was one of Sarkozy's glamorous female appointees of non-European heritage. The position itself has now been abolished, but Rama Yade will receive the strange consolation prize of secretary of State for Sports! Yade frequently defied Sarkozy. Whether she was right or wrong to do so, is not the issue here. She was defiant, that's enough. She has been demoted, but not fired.
Less fortunate (or are they more fortunate?) are former minister of Culture Christine Albanel and former minister of Housing Christine Boutin who were both removed from the government. If Albanel has any integrity she should be glad to be out of there, considering some of the "art" exhibits she was obligated to praise. Albanel is being punished for failing to pass into law the Hadopi bill making it illegal to download music and films.
As for Boutin (left), she is a mixed-up Catholic, who, all the while insisting she is a conservative and loyal to the Vatican's non-negotiable points on ethics and bioethics, nonetheless violated her own stated beliefs often enough for one to question her ability to think logically through her own philosophy. Time permitting, I will elaborate on her removal from office, which she decries as "inhuman" and which she attributes to her having a "foul Catholic mouth". At the same time she claims that the possibility of being sent as Ambassador of France to the Holy See is "interesting and serious."
Note: So Sarko removes her because of her "foul Catholic mouth", but offers to send her to the Holy See as Ambassador! Should she be angry, or grateful to be going to Rome?
Note: The Catholic websites quote her as saying she thought it was "my foul Catholic mouth". The Nouvel Observateur - a left-wing paper - quotes only her saying "my foul mouth".
Sarkozy did not obey his own diktat on parity, since there are now only 13 women vs 25 men in his ministries.
There are two appointments that are causing a lot talk: Frédéric Mitterand as minister of Culture and Pierre Lellouche (left), currently Sakozy's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, as secretary of State for European Affairs. Lellouche is passionately pro-Turkey, a fact that leads all the nationalist websites that had predicted Sarkozy would work surreptitiously for Turkey's accession to say: "I told you so".
One final note on this post: Le Salon Beige notes the emphasis on gay rights and anti-family activism in Sarkozy's new cabinet, and quotes a communiqué from GayLib, the gay rights association affiliated with Sarkozy's UMP party. The association cites three new appointments it is happy about:
- The return to the government of Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice, who now allows civil union marriage ceremonies in his city hall, an example we hope will become generalized in all cities.
Note: Estrosi, a loyal and obedient Sarkozy-ite will be minister of Industry.
- The arrival of Pierre Lellouche, who advocated tougher penalties for those who commit acts of aggression of a homophobic nature and who has always been on the side of GayLib
- And finally, the appointment of Frédéric Mitterand, a great cultural figure, who has always insisted on transparency in matters relating to LGBT.
Note: If you didn't know, LGBT refers to Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender questions.
As for Mitterand (left), nephew of François, the esteemed movie maker is openly gay.