With EU elections ahead, French Greens look to patch up sudden divisions over Cabinet walkout

France's Greens could well be upbeat: They tallied record results in recent municipal elections. They got an unprecedented offer for the No. 2 post in a Socialist-led Cabinet. They champion environmental issues that many French have been contemplating under recently smoggy Paris skies.

Instead, they're bickering — and the rift threatens to muddle the message at one of Europe's most visible and power-wielding ecology parties ahead of next month's European parliamentary elections.

Discord erupted last week when the party's only two ministers in the outgoing Socialist-led Cabinet led a refusal to join a new coalition under Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

On Sunday, the Greens were wrapping up a raucous two-day party leadership meeting in Paris. A new poll suggested many party rank-and-file disagreed with the return to the political sidelines.