What are François Hollande’s popularity and approval ratings?

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Why is François Holland so unpopular in France?
Why is François Holland so unpopular in France?

It’s official. François Holland is the most unpopular president in France since 1958 with only 20%, or 1 in 5, of French citizens giving him a positive score in the polls. Furthermore, outside of France, he is pretty much unknown. So what makes François so unpopular? Here is a presentation that will give you the 5 main reasons.

He keeps on raising existing taxes and introducing new ones
He keeps on raising existing taxes and introducing new ones

Over 90 new taxes have been introduced since the beginning of his presidency in July 2012. VAT (or sales tax) will be raised by 1% on January 1 2014. Some taxes are not even for the future – they can be applied to past earnings too! If you are rich, watch out. For example, from next year, if you earn 2 million euros, you will (only) take home around 850,000 euros net. The rest goes to the state. No wonder even the professional footballers in France will be going on strike at the end of November!

His politicians are completely disconnected from the French public
His politicians are completely disconnected from the French public

Politics is a career in France. Budding politicians go to special schools (e.g. ENA, the Ecole Nationale d’Administration at which François and all his friends attended) and obtain special statuses that allow them to get fast-tracked to elected and unelected positions, all the time cumulating mandates so they can earn up to 25000 euros a month in salaries and benefits. It takes a politician 5 years in France to obtain the same pension that an ‘ordinary’ employee works 40 years for. François promised to change things to ensure politicians would be more in touch with “les Français” but they remain oblivious and aloof from a country with over 9 million people now living under the poverty line.

Unemployment is at a record high
Unemployment is at a record high

There is now a historic low of full time employees in France. Unemployment is at 11%, and, despite the promises, it keeps on rising, with several high profile companies closing factories and laying off workers (Peugeot, Caterpillar, La Redoute, Fagor Brandt, Alacatel, etc.). Poor employment is mainly due to stifling social charges. Companies cannot afford to hire new people even if they want to as it just costs far too much to hire, train and pay personnel. François made promises to keep the large civil service work force intact and maintaining high social charges is another of the ways he uses to prevent the French government from going bankrupt.

He lacks charisma
He lacks charisma

The French are notoriously fickle and forgiving with their presidents. François Mitterrand had a mistress and illegitimate daughter, Jacques Chirac managed 12 years twiddling his thumbs and Nicolas Sarkozy is now very popular despite being mired in some seriously dodgy financial issues. Sadly for François, he doesn’t have the charisma of his predecessors to charm the French. He was elected to be a “normal” president, but you can translate normal as “boring” and the French absolutely hate boring leaders.

He’s not making a big impression abroad
He’s not making a big impression abroad

Everywhere Nicolas Sarkozy went, other Presidents, Prime Ministers and Royalty were all happy to meet with him to publicise photo opportunities, meetings, banquets and conferences. Nicolas had a strong and good effect on their ratings, despite his often controversial positions. He brought France back into NATO, for example. Sadly, François is not so popular, and he remains small news. Foreign media channels aren’t impressed, and the man in the street has no idea who he is. This reflects badly on the image of France abroad, and adds to the French’s unhappiness.

So what now for François?
So what now for François?

It’s hard to say what’s going to stop the rot for François. When things were bad for Nicolas, he took a back step out of the limelight and his famous wife Carla Bruni helped rebuild his image. François’ companion is a left-wing journalist and divises opinion heavily. He could make a few changes in his government, for example by replacing his almost-as-unpopular prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, but the problem is that there are no well-liked and competent politicians that could take his place. What is sure is that if things don’t change quickly, a country that is famous for its strikes will start to descend angrily into the streets. “Allez, bon courage François !

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This is a cute, fun presentation explaining the unpopularity of François Hollande, the current French president. His current approval ratings are at 20%, which is a historic low. François Hollande is the socialist president of France and he is not very well known abroad. He was elected in May 2012 and after 18 months his is now so unpopular that he is running out of options. François Hollande was the leader of the French socialist party for ten years, and nobody gave him a hope when he decided to put his name forward for the election of the next French president after Nicolas Sarkozy. In 2011, the favourite for the Socialist Party was Dominique Strauss-Khan, who was running the IMF at the time, but following a sex scandal in New York Strauss-Khan was obligated to resign, and he could no longer go for President. After 10 years leading the socialist party, nobody thought François Hollande had a chance to win the presidential election as he was so unpopular at the time, and everybody thought that his ex-wife Ségolène Royal, who nearly won the election in 2007, would win the primary election. But François kept his counsel and lost some weight. He then easily won the primary and won against Nicolas Sarkozy, promising to be a “normal” president. But now he is very, very unpopular, and this slider presentation will explain why.

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