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Nuclear row splits French government

28 August 2012 12:45 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

François Hollande under pressure over economy, eurozone treaty and minister's comments that nuclear power was the future

Cracks have appeared in the new French government after a Socialist minister made a gaffe about the future of nuclear power and tensions mounted over the thorny issue of parliamentary ratification of the European budget treaty.

The Socialist president, François Hollande, and his prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, have seen their popularity ratings fall over the summer as the French economic crisis deepens. Already struggling with a difficult return to work after the holiday season, the government has now been shaken by the row over nuclear energy.

The Green party, which has two ministers in the Socialist-led government, was taken aback after the minister for industrial recovery, Arnaud Montebourg, described nuclear power as an "industry of the future", seeming to cast doubt on a commitment to shut power stations and reduce France's devotion to atomic energy. »

- Angelique Chrisafis

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