Paris: French President Francois Hollande unveiled a government of mainly moderate Socialists and longtime allies on Thursday as his new prime minister vowed to work quickly to put the country back on its feet.
   
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Hollande's new government would waste no time and would hold its first meeting on Friday, despite it being a public holiday, and would address the economic crisis.
   
"What's essential, and that's why the cabinet will meet as soon as Thursday, is to get quickly to work to allow France to get back on its feet in a just way," Ayrault told journalists.
   
Hollande tapped former prime minister Laurent Fabius, 65, as foreign minister and his campaign chief during the race against Nicolas Sarkozy, 54-year-old Pierre Moscovici, as finance minister.
   
Notably absent from the line-up was Socialist leader and former labour minister Martine Aubry, a key figure in the party's old-guard left wing, who said she would not join cabinet after being passed up for the premiership.
   
Fabius, prime minister under France's last Socialist president Francois Mitterrand between 1984 and 1986, will take over French diplomacy at an important time for Paris's relations with its European neighbours.
   
With anxiety running high over the fate of the eurozone, Hollande's choice of Moscovici, a former European affairs minister from 1997 to 2002, as finance minister also seemed aimed at addressing the European debt crisis.

(Agencies)

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