Paris Friday 20 July 2012
The tough economic and financial choices are beginning to erode the popularity of President François Hollande as he wrestles with the conflict between campaign promises and reality.
The President and his Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, face anger and jibes from the centre-right and the hard left as they try to square the circle of deficit reduction, economic growth and respect for European Union commitments. According to one poll, Mr Hollande's approval rating sank by five points this month to 53 per cent – a time when newly elected French presidents are still traditionally enjoying a honeymoon with public opinion.
Mr Hollande faces a variety of problems before the traditional political "truce" in August. Peugeot-Citroen has announced 8,000 job cuts; emergency legislation to increase taxation on the wealthy has proved more trou
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