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Fillion reappointed as French PM
Paris, Nov 14 (Agencies):
Published on 14 Nov. 2010 11:41 PM IST
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has reappointed Francois Fillon as prime minister in the first stage of a cabinet reshuffle.
The move comes a day after the entire government handed in its resignation.
The two men are now drawing up a list of other appointments which are likely to be announced on Sunday or Monday.
There has been mounting political tension in France in recent months, and Mr Sarkozy’s popularity is at an all-time low.
Last month parliament passed controversial reforms to the country’s pension system which sparked widespread protests.
The incoming government will be in charge of implementing policy in the run-up to the next presidential elections in 2012.
The BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris says Mr Fillon is seen as a calm and steadying figure, whose popularity ratings regularly exceed those of the president, and Mr Sarkozy has clearly decided that he needs his reassuring presence at the helm.
Our correspondent says that other senior figures are on their way out - notably Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, a socialist who has recently expressed unease at some government policies, and Defence Minister Herve Morin.
In a statement, Mr Fillon spelled out his priorities as head of the new government.
“After three and a half years of brave reforms, carried out despite a severe global economic and financial crisis, I am starting... a new phase with determination which will allow our country to strengthen the growth of the economy to help jobs, promote solidarity and safeguard the security of all French people,” he said.

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