Just ten hours after Delphine Batho, the now former Minister of Environment, spoke about the “bad” budget on RTL radio yesterday, a tweet from the Prime Minister’s twitter account, announced her dismissal. Philippe Martin was appointed as her successor.
It seems Hollande wanted to make Batho the example of what happens when one goes against government unity. Apparently, during a phone call the president had asked Batho to withdraw her criticisms of the budget, but she refused to do so.
“It’s a question of coherence regarding government policy” tweeted Laurent Fabius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“Touching the budget, that’s a red line that should not be crossed” said one government source.
According to a NGO that remained anonymous, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was furious because Batho never voiced her objections to the budget prior to yesterday.
Since early May, after several gaffes, Hollande warned that “nobody is protected in the government” and that “nobody has immunity”.
Following the dismissal of Batho, there was a meeting held by the environmentalists Tuesday evening who expressed their anger over the latest incident. Also present was Cécile Duflot, Minister of Housing, and Pascal Canfin, Minister of Development.
Batho left the ministry on foot, accompanied by her chief of staff.