French government dissolved amid internal feud

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French government dissolved amid internal feud
French President Francois Hollande, left, and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls speak, during a working meeting at the Fort de Bregancon, one of the official presidential residence since 1968, in Bormes-les-Mimosas, southern France, Friday Aug. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Bertrand Langlois, Pool)
French president Francois Hollande gestures with Prime Minister MAnuel Valls as Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain leave the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain are in France for a one-day official visit. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Mauricius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam (L) and French President Francois Hollande speak as they attend the 4th Indian Ocean Commission Summit on August 23, 2014 in Moroni. AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech on August 22, 2014 in Dzaoudzi, as part of a visit to the French overseas island of Mayotte, Indian Ocean. Hollande is on a three-day trip to La Reunion, Mayotte and the Comoros. AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Francois Hollande visits the 'Amphidrome', a new shuttle boat between the islands of Mamoudzou and Dzaoudzi, on August 22, 2014, as part of a visit to the French overseas island of Mayotte, Indian Ocean. Hollande is on a three-day trip to La Reunion, Mayotte and the Comoros. AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
French president Francois Hollande delivers a speech at the seaport of Le Port during his two-day visit in the French overseas island of La Reunion, on August 21, 2014. Hollande arrived on August 21 in la Reunion prior to travel to Mayotte and the Comoros. Hollande announced on August 21 a series of measures for the island of La Reunion including an 'adaptation' of the responsibility pact, and support for the future-oriented jobs and the sugar industry. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Francois Hollande, left, and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls speak, during a working meeting at the Fort de Bregancon, one of the official presidential residence since 1968, in Bormes-les-Mimosas, southern France, Friday Aug. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Bertrand Langlois, Pool)
French President Francois Hollande, left, and French prime minister Manuel Valls arrive at the Fort de Bregancon, one of the official presidential residences since 1968, to take part in a working meeting, in Bormes-les-Mimosas, southern France, Friday Aug. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Bertrand Langlois, Pool)
French President Francois Hollande, left, and French prime minister Manuel Valls arrive at the Fort de Bregancon, one of the official presidential residences since 1968, to take part in a working meeting, in Bormes-les-Mimosas, southern France, Friday Aug. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Bertrand Langlois, Pool)
French President Francois Hollande arrives at the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) at the Palais d'Iena for a social conference with unions and employers, Monday, July 7, 2014 in Paris, France. Hollande and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls opened on July 7 at the 3rd social conference of the President's term. (AP Photo/ Kenzo Tribouillard-Pool)
French President Francois Hollande, left, is greeted by his Prime Minister Manuel Valls upon his arrival at La Maison de la Chimie to attend a meeting on employment, in Paris, France, Monday, April 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Yoan Vallat, pool)
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, left, and French president Francois Hollande leave at the end of the Cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris Wednesday, April . 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
French President Francois Hollande, right, and his prime minister Manuel Valls attend a meeting on employment at La Maison de la Chimie in Paris, France, Monday, April 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Yoan Vallat, pool)
French President Francois Hollande, right, and new French Prime Minister Manuel Valls appear after the first weekly cabinet meeting after municipal elections, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Friday, April 4, 2014. President Francois Hollande shook up the government this week after his Socialist Party suffered an electoral defeat in nationwide municipal elections. Among two new faces in the Cabinet is Segolene Royal, a longtime politician and mother of Hollande's children, as environment and energy minister. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
French President Francois Hollande, right, shakes hands with new French Prime Minister Manuel Valls after the first weekly cabinet meeting after municipal elections, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Friday, April 4, 2014. President Francois Hollande shook up the government this week after his Socialist Party suffered an electoral defeat in nationwide municipal elections. Among two new faces in the Cabinet is Segolene Royal, a longtime politician and mother of Hollande's children, as environment and energy minister. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
From left French Interior minister Manuel Valls, President Francois Hollande, prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, and minister for Women's rights Najat Vallaud Belkacem walk in the hall of the Elysee Palace after the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
French President Francois Hollande (R) and French Prime minister Manuel Valls, look at planes of the 'Patrouille de France' flying over, on August 15, 2014 as part of ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the Allied landing in Provence, aboard the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier off the coast of Toulon, southern France. Two months after D-Day, the Allied invasion of southern France pushed the exhausted Nazi army back towards Germany and hastened the end of World War II in Europe. AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Francois Hollande (R) and French Prime minister Manuel Valls, look at planes of the 'Patrouille de France' flying over, on August 15, 2014 as part of ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the Allied landing in Provence, aboard the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier off the coast of Toulon, southern France. Two months after D-Day, the Allied invasion of southern France pushed the exhausted Nazi army back towards Germany and hastened the end of World War II in Europe. AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Francois Hollande (R) shakes hands with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (L) after a government seminar at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on August 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Francois Hollande (L) and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls watch the annual Bastille Day military parade from the presidential tribune on Concorde square in Paris, on July 14, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Harold Hauzy, French Prime minister's communication and press adviser, speaks on the phone as he stands at a window in the Hotel Matignon, the French Prime minister's official residence, in Paris on August 24, 2014, after the French president told his prime minister to form a new government. French President Francois Hollande asked French Prime Minister Manuel Valls to form a new government following a much-criticised show of insubordination by the country's firebrand economy minister. A presidency statement said Valls had offered the resignation of his government -- a formality that allows him to form a new cabinet -- and the new line-up would be announced on August 26. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
MORONI, COMOR ISLANDS - AUGUST 23: French President Francois Hollande (L) is welcomed by President of Comor Islands Ikililou Douadine (C) with a military ceremony in Moroni, Comor Islands on August 23, 2014. Hollande is in Comors due to the 4th Indian Ocean Commission Summit. (Photo by Nawelle Ibrahim/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
French President Francois Hollande (L) meets with Comoros President Ikililou Dhoinine on August 23, 2014, during the 4th Indian Ocean Commission Summit in Moroni, Comoros. AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
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By LORI HINNANT

PARIS (AP) -- French President Francois Hollande dissolved the government on Monday after open feuding among his Cabinet over the country's stagnant economy.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls offered up his Socialist government's resignation after accusing France's outspoken economy minister of crossing a line with his blunt criticism of the government's policies. Hollande accepted the resignation and ordered Valls to form a new government by Tuesday.

France has had effectively no economic growth this year, unemployment is hovering around 10 percent and Hollande's approval ratings are sunk in the teens. The country is under pressure from the 28-nation European Union to get its finances in order, but Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg has questioned whether the austerity tack pressed by the EU will really kick start French growth.

Hollande's promises to cut taxes and make it easier for businesses to open and operate have stalled, in large part because of the divisions among his Socialist party.

"A major change in our economy policy," was what Montebourg had said was needed, just days after Hollande had expressly said there would be no change in the government's economic direction.

The minister's comments angered the Socialist leadership, which said Montebourg's job was to support the government, not criticize it from within.

"He's not there to start a debate but to put France back on the path of growth," Carlos Da Silva, the Socialist Party spokesman, told the Le Figaro newspaper.

Montebourg represents the hard-left Socialist base, and his departure from the government is likely to anger many of the voters who brought Hollande to office in 2012. Since that time, France's economy has only worsened, and the sense of impending crisis weighs heavily.

French officials have already made clear that the deficit will again surpass the EU's 3 percent target and are negotiating a delay.

The new government is unlikely to include Montebourg or other left-wing Socialists and there will be no new election. Instead, led by Valls, the new Cabinet is expected to work toward smoother ties with the EU.

Montebourg's criticism of austerity - and his pointed remarks about German Chancellor Angela Merkel - have rankled before.

In an interview last week after Germany's economy also showed signs of stagnation, Montebourg said France's neighbor had been "trapped by the policy of austerity." He went on to say "when I say Germany, I mean the German right wing that supports Angela Merkel. It's not France's job to align itself to the ideological axioms of Germany's right wing."

Merkel on Monday declined to comment directly about France's change in government but said she wishes "the French president success with his reform agenda."


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