Hollande plans strategy on anniversary

2013-05-06 15:04
French President François Hollande (Picture: AFP)

French President François Hollande (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - Under fire from right and left, French President François Hollande on Monday, spent the first anniversary of his election triumph hunkered down with ministers to thrash out a comeback strategy.

Hollande, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and most of the embattled Socialist government's ministers, held talks at the Elysee Palace to set the administration's reform agenda for the coming months.

Hollande is marking the anniversary of his 6 May win last year over right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy, as the most unpopular president in modern French history.

Many in France are angered by his government's failure to turn around the economy, which is predicted to enter recession this year, and a rise in unemployment to a 16-year high.

Monday's talks were to focus on boosting economic growth, fighting joblessness, controlling public finances and social issues like access to housing, health care and retirement, officials said.

Harsh criticism

French newspapers marked the anniversary with harsh criticism of Hollande, with even the left-wing daily Liberation's front-page headline depicting the president as "A Man Alone".

"A year after the election of François Hollande, France is in crisis - political, economic, social and moral," Liberation wrote, saying Hollande "has not been able, for the moment, to win the confidence of his countrymen."

Noting that no political events were planned to mark the day, right-wing daily Le Figaro said: "The Socialist Party is in hiding for the first anniversary".

With criticism of the government mounting, some are predicting a cabinet reshuffle before the summer.

Mistakes

In an interview late on Sunday, Ayrault admitted the government had made mistakes in its first year.

"Sometimes there are hiccups, but what is essential for the French is the government's direction," he told TF1 television, adding that government policies would lead to a "return to growth".

Tens of thousands of left-wing protesters took to the streets of Paris on Sunday to accuse Hollande of turning his back on Socialist principles, while thousands more demonstrated across the country against a government bill legalising gay marriage.

Hollande's opponents rounded on him again on Monday, with the head of the right-wing UMP's parliamentary faction, Christian Jacob, telling France Info radio: "Simply put, right now the boat is sinking and we have a president who is incapable of taking action."

Since his election, Hollande's approval rating has fallen faster and further than any other president's since the founding of France's Fifth Republic in 1958.

His popularity has been especially dented by two recent crises - a tax-fraud scandal involving his ex-budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac and a deeply divisive debate on gay marriage that saw widespread protests.

A new TNS Sofres poll for i-Tele released on Monday showed more than 76 of respondents saying they were disappointed with Hollande's performance, and 56% of those who voted for him considering his record negative.

Read more on:    francois hollande  |  nicolas sarkozy  |  jean-marc ayrault  |  france

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.