Why France Is Turning Against Its President

During a televised interview in April 2016, French President Francois Hollande begged his supporters not to abandon him in the next election Many in Hollande’s own party have called him a traitor, and sought unprecedented measures to field a new candidate in 2017

Meanwhile, his overall approval rating has slumped to 14 percent, making him the most unpopular president in the country’s history So, why is Hollande so unpopular? Well, despite temporary spikes after the Charlie Hebdo and November terrorist attacks in Paris, Hollande’s approval rating has stayed consistently low, ranging anywhere from 12 to 50 percent Hollande stands firmly in France’s far-left Socialist party, however he has been criticized on all sides of the political spectrum for his perceived indecisiveness and lack of authority Hollande is also blamed for France’s weakening economy and stubbornly high unemployment rate, which in 2016 hit ten percent Some attribute this to France’s outdated labor code, which protects workers unions, job security, and the famous 35-hour work week Many high ranking officials, including Hollande, as well as the European Commision, consider France’s labor laws to be ultimately harmful to the country’s economy

To combat this, Hollande’s administration introduced a bill which would weaken those worker protections The reforms proved to be wildly unpopular, as the country’s labor code is seen as a sacred representation of its core values In early 2016, thousands took to the streets and social media to protest the reform, many of whom represent Hollande’s target voter demographic: leftist youths Perhaps the biggest blow to Hollande’s popularity was his infamous “nationality law”, which would have stripped citizenship from dual nationals who were convicted of terrorism The proposed constitutional amendment was a direct response to the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, as a majority of the known attackers held French citizenship

But many French officials, including those in Hollande’s administration, opposed the amendment, arguing that it was a direct contradiction to France’s principles for equal protection laid out in their constitution After little support in the senate, the initiative failed, and Hollande himself eventually withdrew support for it Some have called this series of events a point of no return for many of his supporters Hollande’s unpopular presidency, coupled with a string of terror attacks and a dwindling economy, has paved the way for the country’s far-right National Front party to gain support During the first round of regional elections in 2015, the National Front won nearly 30 percent of the vote, an all-time high for an anti-EU and anti-immigration party

This has led many on the left fearing that the National Front’s radical leader, Marine Le Pen, could have a shot at winning the 2017 election Although experts say this is unlikely given Le Pen’s radical stances on immigration and Islam, it’s safe to say that the future of France remains unclear National Front is just one of many right wing groups gaining power and popularity in europe, find out what some of the other major extreme right parties are, and how they’ve come to power Thanks for watching Seeker Daily, don’t forget to like and subscribe for new videos every day!

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