Sarkozy keeps key figures

French President Nicolas Sarkozy reappointed a trusted ally as prime minister and named new defense and foreign ministers in a Sunday night reshuffle aimed at shoring up his position 18 months before a presidential poll. Economy minister Christine Lagarde, budget minister Francois Baroin and interior minister Brice Hortefeux were among proven heavyweights who kept their jobs. Baroin was also appointed government spokesman, Sarkozy’s office said in a statement. The new cabinet, which puts old-school lynchpins of the ruling center-right UMP party in charge of key ministries, is not expected to result in major policy shifts. Defense minister Herve Morin and foreign minister Bernard Kouchner were replaced.