Sarkozy bids farewell to Cabinet

Sarkozy bids farewell to Cabinet

Outgoing French leader Nicolas Sarkozy’s Cabinet met for its last session yesterday as president-elect François Hollande held talks with top Socialists to gear up for next month’s parliamentary vote.

Hollande also held consultations on forming a government and preparing for his first foreign visit, to Berlin, where he is expected to get a frosty reception over his plans to renegotiate the European fiscal austerity pact. The cabinet meeting was “emotional”, participants said, with ministers giving Sarkozy a standing ovation after he told them he wished Hollande “good luck” following his election win on May 6.

Back to lawyer life

“Nicolas Sarkozy’s main commitment in 2007, to put France on the move, has been met,” Agence France-Presse quoted Prime Minister Francois Fillon as saying after the session. “We did this with a number of reforms that no one else managed, and we did it during a climate of crisis.”

Sarkozy’s communications advisor Franck Louvrier said Sarkozy was preparing to return to his former life as a lawyer at the Paris firm he still partly owns, after taking a break with his wife Carla Bruni and their baby daughter. Hollande meanwhile met with senior party officials, where talks focused on securing the Socialists a majority in parliamentary vote on June 10 and 17.