|EU heads of State in Rome, March 2017|
|Jean-Claude Juncker in Rome|
|Geert Wilders (L) vs. Prime Minister Mark Rutte|
|Penelope and François Fillon|
|Marine Le Pen with Vladimir Putin|
As soon as President Hollande announced that he would not run for a second term, Manuel Valls resigned as Prime Minister in order to run for the presidency himself (he lost against left-wing candidate Benoît Hamon). Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve then replaced Valls as Prime Minister, and Deputy Bruno Le Roux was appointed to replace Cazeneuve as Interior Minister. It was another reshuffle in the Hollande government which has known many, and should have been the last before the change of government in May. Alas, Le Roux lasted little more than three months and was forced to resign over the fact that he had employed his two school-age daughters of 15 and 16, respectively, as Parliamentarian aides during school vacations. Not much evidence could be found for work done for the benefit of the Parliament except for paychecks totalling 55,000 euros. In the wake of the Fillon fictitious employment scandal, Le Roux was forced out and was replaced by Matthias Fekl, who in September 2014 had replaced Thomas Thévenoud, then newly-named State Secretary for Exterior Commerce who, after only nine days on the job, had to resign over years of unpaid taxes. (His excuse: "I don't like paperwork").
Are you still with me?
With a tinge of pity we will soon say goodbye to this well-meaning but ineffective president, who may well miss his shiny palace more than we will miss him.