The Strategist

A Minister Wanted: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Resigned

02/10/2016 - 15:20

A cabinet reshuffle started in France - the resignation of Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was announced on Wednesday, February 10, 2016. He is expected to take over as Chairman of the country’s Constitutional Council.

COP PARIS via flickr
COP PARIS via flickr
On Wednesday Laurent Fabius personally confirmed rumors of his resignation. The journalists, who were waiting for him in the morning after the cabinet’s meeting, began to ask chorally: "Is this your last Council of Ministers", "Yes", - said Fabius, and waved to press. The post, which he held from 16 May 2012, is now free.

He will now go to his office on Orsay strand to pack his things and wait for a successor to hand over the administration – and here’s a hesitation. Most likely, the Council of Ministers has already named the successor, but French experts are still lost in conjectures.

Paris hopes that the government soon can find out what politician can take the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ head. Two candidates – Green party member Nicolas Hulot and prominent Socialist Martine Aubry - have already refused the post. In essence, the post of head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose fate is closely linked with that of President, now looks not so enviable. Any new appointee will remain in office maximum up to a the presidential elections in 2017, where, it seems, François Hollande has not so much of a chance. In any case, according to the latest polls, three-quarters of French people believe that it is not necessary for him to go for a second term.

There are different opinions about Laurent Fabius’s career as a minister. On the one hand, a political yearbook Trombinoscope proclaimed him "Minister of the Year" in early February. Some observers believe that his merit is the internal opposition to Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and most French military operations commanded by him. Other commentators (such as Atlantico online magazine) reproach him in a dependent policy, subordinate to US interests and disregard for the interests of Russia, recalling, in particular, the story of the non-delivery of helicopter carriers "Mistral", which, according to the journal, did France material and moral disservices.