French energy minister sacked

French President Francois Hollande has summarily dismissed environment and energy minister Delphine Batho for criticising cuts to her department.

Batho, a firm advocate of renewable power, is to be replaced by Socialist Philippe Martin.

Delphine Batho

Earlier this week Hollande had presented plans to make public savings of $11.7bn next year, including a cut to Batho’s department of 7 per cent.

Batho, 40, and an ardent supporter of renewables at both the French and EU level, quickly took to the airwaves referring to Hollande’s “bad” budget in a morning radio interview, adding that the French people are “disappointed” that the government is not focusing more heavily on green economic solutions.

She was then summoned by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and became the first member of Hollande’s government to be sacked for breaking the convention that ministers should not criticise government policy.

Hollande is intent on reducing government spending that last year accounted for almost 57 per cent of France’s gross domestic product.

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