French finance minister pulls out of IMF meeting ahead of reshuffle

The French minister of finance has pulled out of the IMF gathering in Bali this week in order to stay in Paris ahead of a crucial government reshuffle.

Bruno Le Maire will not travel to Indonesia, according to people familiar with the matter. European finance ministers are due to try to persuade the Trump administration at the meeting not to cut off Iran’s access to Swift, the global financial messaging service, in meetings with Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury secretary.

Senior French officials, including the governor of the Banque de France, are expected to attend and push France’s interests.

The need for a government reshuffle was triggered by the resignation of Gérard Collomb as interior minister last week. Mr Collomb was the third of Emmanuel Macron’s ministers to resign in recent weeks, heaping further pressure on the French president.

The appointment of a replacement had been expected before Mr Le Maire left for Bali and ahead a meeting of the French cabinet on Wednesday but is now not due to happen until the end of this week — when Mr Macron is due to return from a trip to Armenia.

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