Maverick ex-economy minister of France will run for president

ASSOCIATED PRESS
PARIS
Published 21.08.2016 19:42
Updated 21.08.2016 19:46
Former French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg (C) arrives to deliver a speech during the 44th annual meeting of the French socialist party (PS) La fete de la Rose, on August 21, 2016 (AFP PHoto)
Former French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg (C) arrives to deliver a speech during the 44th annual meeting of the French socialist party (PS) "La fete de la Rose", on August 21, 2016 (AFP PHoto)

France's former economy minister, who fell out with President Francois Hollande, has announced he will be a candidate for president next year.

Socialist Arnaud Montebourg, 53, said in a speech on Sunday that Hollande's record "is indefensible." Hollande has not said whether he will stand for re-election.

Montebourg, Hollande's minister from 2012 to 2014, lost his portfolio amid feuding over economic policy, because he denounced German-style austerity as the wrong medicine to foster growth.

"The European Union is in the situation of a bankrupt business that needs a reform to be saved," Montebourg said Sunday.

As minister, he introduced a measure to broaden the government's authority to intervene when foreign companies want to buy firms the state considers vital, including in the sectors of transport, health and communications.

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