President François Hollande, speaking on Monday (14 July), France’s national holiday, reaffirmed his determination to tackle the country’s unemployment problem. The level of employment must be “as high as possible at the end of my five-year term,” Hollande said. His mandate as president ends in 2017. His speech was seen as a further attempt to relaunch the government’s economic policy after March’s government reshuffle.
An opinion poll carried out by Ipsos on behalf of Le Point newspaper, published on 15 July, showed that Hollande’s approval rating stood at 20%, up two percentage points on the previous month. The rating for Manuel Valls, the country’s prime minister since March, had slipped three percentage points to 42%.
The approval rating for Nicolas Sarkozy, the centre-right former president, dropped seven points from last month to 33%, showing the effect of his questioning by magistrates investigating a party funding scandal at the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP). But among UMP supporters, Sarkozy is still the top-rated politician, with an approval rating of 74%, compared to 73% for Alain Juppé.
Across the country as a whole, Juppé has the highest approval ratings, with Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, in second place, and François Bayrou third.
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