popularity plumbs new low in mid-term French poll
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[November 06, 2014]
PARIS (Reuters) - Half-way into his
five-year mandate the popularity of French President Francois Hollande
hit a new low on Thursday, hours before the Socialist leader addresses
the nation to defend his shaky record on the economy.
In the worst score for a president in modern-day polling, Hollande
received a 12 percent approval rating in the monthly survey by
pollster YouGov, down 15 percent from the prior month. Other recent
polls have put his popularity at 13 percent.
Earlier the chief executive of France's third-largest bank, Credit
Agricole, slammed Hollande's government for its uncertain efforts to
kickstart the eurozone's second largest economy.
"The absence of a clear vision and lack of coherence in economic
policies is weighing on confidence and therefore investment and
economic activity," CEO Jean-Paul Chifflet said during a conference
call to present the bank's results.
Hollande is due later to face journalists and members of the public
for a question-and-answer session on prime-time TF1 evening
television. He will likely face criticism about broken promises to
cut rising unemployment and public deficits.
Hollande failed to meet his goal of reversing the rise in
unemployment by the end of last year. A pro-business strategy to
boost the economy through tax breaks for companies who boost hiring
has alienated many of his left-wing former backers.
His impopularity has stoked a backlash from rebel lawsmakers on the
left of the Socialist Party seeking to block his supply-side
economic reforms, even as the far-right National Front has made
inroads with disillusioned French voters.
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A Harris Interactive poll published on Monday found that 92 percent
of respondents said they were not satisfied with Hollande's track
record, with 96 percent saying he had not held to his campaign
promises made before coming to power in 2012.
(Reporting By Alexandria Sage; editing by Mark John)
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