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French President Hollande picks moderate Cabinet

New French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel give a joint press conference Tuesday in Berlin.

Story highlights

  • "It's the change the French wanted," Prime Minister Ayrault says
  • Most of the ministers are considered moderates
  • 17 of the 34 ministers and junior ministers are women
  • Very few served under Francois Mitterrand

New French President Francois Hollande has chosen mostly moderates for his Cabinet, indicating an effort to build a broad coalition in the country.

The Socialist leader selected moderates to serve as ministers of labor, economy, foreign affairs, defense and other posts.

The Cabinet, announced Wednesday, also includes several leftists and at least one minister who comes from the Socialist Party's right wing.

Half of the 34 ministers and junior ministers are women. And the group spans generations: The youngest is 34; the eldest is 66. Many are experts in their fields.

"It's a renewed government," said newly named Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. "It's the change the French wanted."

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The Cabinet includes moderate left political figures Michel Sapin as labor minister and Laurent Fabius as foreign minister. Pierre Moscovici will be minister of economy and finance, and his fellow moderate, Socialist Jean-Yves Le Drian, will be defense minister.

    Officials with strong left-leaning tendencies were chosen as ministers of education, industry and environment.

    Manuel Valls, from the right wing of the Socialist Party, will be minister of interior.

    Hollande, the country's first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand left office in 1995, won an election this month against incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Very few of Hollande's Cabinet selections served under Mitterrand.