According to those in the know in Paris, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is a smart soft-soaper capable of persuading a mule out of its hind legs.
A provincial politician, Le Drian emerged from relative obscurity towards the end of President François Hollande’s much-maligned presidency. As Defense Minister in Hollande’s government, Le Drian was quickly established as the star of a moribund administration.
While other ministers turned round vacuous illusions, Le Drian won a reputation as a “doer” (in French faiseur) by winning huge contracts for the sale of the latest French combat aircraft, the Dassault Rafale, to a number of countries including Brazil, Egypt and India, thus providing some good news for Hollande’s bad-news tenure.
Le Drian was Socialist enough to survive several Cabinet reshuffles but not too Socialist to remain on board as the party’s sinking ship.