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French political crisis

France was thrown into fresh crisis yesterday after President Francois Hollande told his prime minister to form a new government, following a high-profile show of insubordination by the country's firebrand economy minister.

It is the second reshuffle in just five months as the ruling Socialists struggle to pull France out of the economic doldrums and the party is riven by infighting over what direction to take to reduce sky-high unemployment and boost sorely-needed growth.

The shock move caught France by surprise.