Francois Baroin is new French finance minister

Francois Baroin
Image caption Francois Baroin - formerly France's budget minister - succeeds Christine Lagarde as finance minister

France has appointed a replacement for Christine Lagarde as finance minister, one day after she gained the job as the IMF's managing director.

He is 46-year-old Francois Baroin, whose previous job was as government spokesman and budget minister.

In the foreseeable future, his main job will be to work with other European finance ministers to find a solution to the eurozone's debt crisis.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the appointment on Wednesday.

It came on the day that revised figures were issued for France's gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of the year.

It showed that the French economy grew slightly less than expected in the first three months of 2011, but that it was still accelerating.

The Insee national statistics institute said that GDP in the first three months of the year was 0.9%, rather than the 1% growth it had previously estimated.

The institute is forecasting economic growth for the year of 2.1%, behind Germany's 3.7% projected expansion, but well above Spain's 0.7%.

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