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Borloo's new job is widely seen as a demotion, and punishment for his gaffe on the social VAT last week. I'd bet that his minister is going to be slowly stripped of its functions.

Alliot-Marie is prickly and ambitious; she owes nothing to Sarkozy, she's likely to be one of the most independent-minded ministers;

Kouchner is carefully neutralised by Mr Levitte, who is the new national security advisor to Sarkozy. A widely appreciated carrer diplomat, former ambassador to the US, he will be the real minister.

Lagarde was actually the CEO of Baker & McKenzie, a very real achievement for anyone and a bigger one for a foreigner. She has a lot of experience of the international corporate world, but not of the French technocracy. She's been back in France two years only, and has so far made a faultless career. She is "reform" minded but maybe too Americanised (she lived there for all her adult life) for the French administration and politicians. To be watched.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 19th, 2007 at 04:01:28 PM EST

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