France's nuclear power goals will be known by end of October: Minister

France: Minister quits in fresh blow to Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron is facing a tricky cabinet pick Tuesday, as he scrambles to recover from record-low approval ratings while facing growing resistance to a controversial tax payment reform.

Despite keeping a low profile, Flessel had some of the highest poll ratings among President Emmanuel Macron's cabinet after taking office previous year, four months before Paris won its bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

The new sports minister, Roxana Maracineanu, was a backstroke world champion in 1998 and an Olympic silver medalist in 2000.

Flessel, a former Olympic champion in fencing, followed former Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot in quitting the French government.

French investigative website Mediapart reported that tax investigators had recently notified France's tax infraction commission (CIF) due to suspicions she had under-reported her earnings.

But environmental groups immediately questioned whether De Rugy would be able to have an effect on the government's approach to climate change, saying Macron must better defend biodiversity and address environmental threats.

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She said she made the decision after meeting with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, and that she still supports Macron.

Hulot, a long-time environmental advocate, lamented France's slow pace of progress on green issues and his own lack of power as minister to force change.

Mr de Rugy is a former Green party member who backed Mr Macron during his 2017 electoral campaign and became a member of his party, Republic on the Move.

Unlike Hulot, Flessel cited "personal reasons" for her decision, with a source close to the minister denying any link to tensions over state funding for the Games.

Flessel announced her resignation just hours before Macron was slated to unveil his Cabinet reshuffle.

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