March 19, 2015 / 12:52 PM / 3 years ago

'Made in France' rebel ex-minister joins Habitat

Former French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg, delivers a speech as he attends the Socialist Party's "Universite d'ete" summer meeting in La Rochelle, western France, August 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) - Arnaud Montebourg, the leftist former economy minister who led a “made in France” campaign to promote French-made goods, was named on Thursday vice-president for innovation of Habitat furniture group outside Britain.

“Habitat is a brand that can proudly wear the colors of ‘made in France’,” Montebourg said in a statement of the group founded in Britain in the 1960s. France’s Cafom acquired its continental European stores in 2011.

Montebourg served as industry minister for two years and briefly won new powers as economy minister before being sacked last year for criticizing budget savings made by President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government to narrow its deficit.

Montebourg made an international name for himself in 2012 by posing for a magazine in a Breton stripey jersey bearing a French-made food mixer, part of his campaign to boost local jobs by convincing consumers to shun imported products.

Once a presidential hopeful, he said after being sacked that he was putting his ambitions as a professional politician on ice to gain experience in the private sector.

Reporting by Mark John; Editing by Ingrid Melander

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