Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Science | By

French sports minister resigns ahead of gov't reshuffle

French sports minister resigns ahead of gov't reshuffle

France's President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday named Francois de Rugy, a former green lawmaker now in the ruling party, as his new environment minister, the presidency said in a statement.

The centrist leader is expected to select a replacement for popular environment minister Nicolas Hulot, whose shock resignation last week caught France's political establishment off guard.

Hulot, by contrast, announced during a live radio interview last week that he was resigning out of despair over the government's hollow environmental commitments.

"I made a decision to resign for personal reasons", Flessel said in a statement, adding that she would be focusing on past commitments, notably worldwide cooperation.

Hulot, a star TV presenter who enjoyed the highest ratings of any in Macron's cabinet, accused the president of not moving fast enough on key green pledges, including France's reliance on nuclear energy.

The new sports minister, Roxana Maracineanu, was a backstroke world champion in 1998 and an Olympic silver medallist in 2000.

De Rugy is known as a pragmatist who backed Macron's decision previous year to delay the phased reduction of nuclear energy in France's electricity production.

French online investigative site Mediapart and weekly newspaper Le Canard Enchaine reported that Ms Flessel is in trouble with tax authorities for alleged issues regarding the company handling her image rights as a former athlete.

Macron was scheduled to discuss the issue with Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin on Tuesday along with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

The Minister of sport Laura Flessel-Colovic September 4, said that he was leaving for personal reasons.

Flessel announced her resignation just hours before Macron was slated to unveil his Cabinet reshuffle.

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