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Most French discontent with Hollande leadership

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A news survey shows that most French people disapprove of socialist President Francois Hollande’s leadership and believe that the European Union (EU) is led in the wrong direction.

The survey, carried out by Gallup in six EU countries and released on Wednesday, indicated 51 percent of the French disapprove of Hollande’s leadership role in Europe.

Hollande’s popularity, which had already been affected by the poor performance of France economy, is shrinking to record lows.

In February, only 30 percent of the 1,000 people surveyed by the polling company TNS Sofres said they were content with the president amid a deep recession, industrial layoffs and high joblessness in Europe’s second-largest economy.

In March, another poll carried out by pollster OpinionWay for the newspaper Metro and broadcaster LCI found that 67 percent of the French were dissatisfied with the Socialist president’s performance.

Meanwhile, the Gallup survey showed that 62 percent of French people think that the EU is moving in the wrong direction. The figure climbs to more than 85 percent among those who disapprove of Hollande’s leadership.

The study, which also covered the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Germany, Britain and France, accounting for almost half of the EU’s 500 million population, also found out that across all the six nations most people felt things were going in the wrong direction.

The poll further pointed to the diverging opinions in France and Germany, regarded as the traditional twin motors of Europe, damaging unity over where the continent is headed after several years of economic woes and social tensions.

“The French-German axis that provided the largest basis for common European policy in the past is now weakening, reflecting the diverging mood in the two countries,” Gallup’s Anna Manchin wrote in an accompanying analysis,

“The French are losing confidence in globalization and growing insecure in their position within Europe. Our findings reflect this turn in France away from the EU toward more pressing national problems,” she added.

On May 15, France hit recession as its gross domestic product (GDP) fell 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013.


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