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EUROPE > Honeymoon period over for Hollande

PARIS - Reuters

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Hollande enjoys a summer vacation at Bregancon Beach, southern France. ABACAPRESS photo

Hollande enjoys a summer vacation at Bregancon Beach, southern France. ABACAPRESS photo

French President François Hollande’s approval rating has dipped to 46 percent three months after winning office, pollster Ifop said on Aug. 11, suggesting a weak economy had cut short the Socialist leader’s honeymoon period.

The survey showed Hollande, who won office on May 6 with nearly 52 percent of votes, had not benefited from the post-electoral bounce enjoyed by his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. Sarkozy’s approval rating climbed to 65 percent in the weeks after his victory. However, Hollande took office amid gloomier economic prospects, with unemployment at a 13-year high of 10 percent and France expected to slip into recession this year.

The Ifop poll, published in right-leaning newspaper Le Figaro, said that 51 percent of those questioned thought France was changing for the worse, with just 17 percent convinced it was changing for the better. “In this pessimistic climate and with regard to the very small room for maneuver which exists, the confidence ratings for Hollande and his government are consistently below 50 percent,” said Jerome Fourquet of Ifop.

Nonetheless, the survey of 1,004 people showed that 57 percent of those questioned thought Hollande was fulfilling his campaign promises. His decision to cut his own salary and those of his cabinet by nearly one third was backed by 82 percent of voters.

August/13/2012

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