Sports Minister Laura Flessel surprisingly announced yesterday that she has decided to step down.
Flessel is the second popular member of President Emmanuel Macron’s cabinet to resign in a week. The resignation of the immensely popular Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot was also a blow for Macron.
Her decision comes as Macron attempts to inject new energy into his reform drive. Although the popular former Olympic fencing champion said she had “personal reasons“ for leaving, other sources claim her decision to leave was linked to her fiscal situation.
Macron’s office announced that Flessel would be replaced by Roxana Maracineanu and the new Environment minister will be Francois de Rugy.
Macron also faces an unprecedented decline in popularity. According to an Ifop poll, only 31 percent of French voters are now satisfied with his performance. Even his predecessor Francois Hollande was more popular at the same stage of his presidency.