PARIS – France reshuffled its government on Tuesday to silence dissidents who had openly criticized Socialist President Francois Hollande’s economic policy as he tries to pull the nation out of stagnation and steer it toward growth.

Emmanuel Macron, who had earlier served as top adviser in charge of economy, took over the Economy Ministry, replacing Arnaud Montebourg who had publicly railed against government policy as being too austere and even unjust to the French.

Finance Minister Michel Sapin stayed in place in the limited reshuffle.

Other major ministers, including Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, also kept their jobs.

Macron, who advised Hollande until June 2014, is known for his pro-business ideas and is sure to send a positive signal to European Union partners.

The reshuffle came less than five months after the ambitious and popular Prime Minister Manuel Valls took office on April 1, steadfastly promoting Hollande’s agenda. The changes are aimed at creating a Cabinet that embodies Hollande’s policies.

Hollande is the most unpopular president in recent French history with ratings below 20 per cent.