France’s new PM wins confidence vote

Paris, Dec 14 (IANS) France’s newly-appointed Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Tuesday won the National Assembly’s confidence vote with a large majority, according to the lower house of parliament.

Cazeneuve won the backing of 305 lawmakers to head the Socialist Party (PS) cabinet, while 239 voted against him, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I know that this mission will be brief but I want to exercise it fully. I want to continue reforming to pursue our country’s recovery,” he said.

Addressing the National Assembly before the confidence vote, Cazeneuve pledged “to make every day count” with “competitiveness, growth …fighting unemployment will obviously remain the government priorities”.

“We can reform without injuring. We can modernise without destroying,” he told lawmakers, referring to the conservative candidate for presidential election Francois Fillon’s proposal to slash 500,000 public posts and limit public health insurance.

A week ago, French President Francois Hollande named Cazeneuve as the head of his executive staff until a new head of state is elected next May.

The government’s minor reshuffle was prompted by the resignation of former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who announced he was stepping down in order to prepare for the 2017 presidential election.

–IANS

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