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Sarkozy Reshuffles French Cabinet


French President Nicolas Sarkozy has reshuffled his cabinet, putting a woman in charge of the economy following his center-right party's worse-than-expected showing in Sunday's parliamentary elections.

Mr. Sarkozy Tuesday named Christine Lagarde as finance minister to replace Jean-Louis Borloo, who becomes head of the environment and energy ministry. Borloo takes the place of Alain Juppe, who resigned from the cabinet after losing his parliamentary seat in the recent elections.

Lagarde had been agriculture minister, a role former Foreign Minister Michel Barnier will now fill.

In a strong signal to France's disaffected minorities, Mr. Sarkozy named Muslim Fadela Amara, a woman of Algerian background, to a senior post in the ministry of urban affairs. He appointed a Senegalese-born woman, Rama Yade, as a junior minister for foreign affairs and human rights. Justice Minister Rachida Dati is also a woman of North African origin.

President Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) won a majority in France's 577-seat parliament, but not the landslide that many analysts had predicted.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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