When it comes to political commitment, perhaps there is no one as dedicated to the cause as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Case in point: When some rebel backbenchers from the left of his own Socialist Party booed him, Valls delved into a lengthy explanation about government’s austerity package while sweating profusely from head to toe.
In fact, by the time he was done spelling out the entire package to the audience, the exhausted man was drenched in sweat and had to use a towel to dry off. Even his crisp-white shirt was dripping with perspiration and had become completely see-through by the end of the speech.
“We are pressing ahead with the deep reforms our economy needs,” the prime minister exclaimed. “We won't be swayed.”
The entire ordeal took place during Socialist Party’s annual conference in the Atlantic port of La Rochelle, where the temperature was about 30ºC – which was apparently unbearable for Valls.
Putting a whole new meaning to “breaking a sweat,” the 53-year-old pledged to stick to his party’s pro-business reforms and promised to “revise thoroughly” the country’s labor laws to give more flexibility to both employers and employees.
Valls described France’s existing work code as “so complex that it has become inefficient: curbed activity, wage earners who no longer know their rights.”
Meanwhile, a group of young party members has called for the resignation of Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, accusing him of prioritizing his business over the party’s socialist ideals.
The rebels are actually uneasy about the pro-business approach, which was also adopted by President Francois Hollande at the beginning of 2014, and with which Valls is also associated.