Analysis: French search in vain for Hollande vision

The new socialist President of France is struggling.. five months in. With stubborn unemployment and lack of plans and experience… sounds familiar..

Analysis: French search in vain for Hollande vision:

French President Francois Hollande arrives for a statement on the steps of the Elysee Palace, after a meeting with the heads of France's Jewish Associations, in Paris, October 7, 2012. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

French President Francois Hollande arrives for a statement on the steps of the Elysee Palace, after a meeting with the heads of France’s Jewish Associations, in Paris, October 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) – Just five months after bringing Francois Hollande to power, many French voters are already despairing that he can deliver on the vision they voted for.

It was always going to be tough for the Socialist leader to get France’s stagnating economy back on its feet, with much of the rest of Europe close to recession and struggling to resolve a three-year sovereign debt crisis.

But the freefall in his popularity ratings shows that many erstwhile supporters are already asking whether he has a plan at all, as his inexperienced ruling coalition is buffeted by events rather than shaping them.

“Hollande was voted in to secure an economic recovery while preserving our social model,” said Stephane Rozes, head of political consultancy Cap, referring to France’s generous welfare state and high level of labor protection.

“But he has been gradually driven off course,” he said, bemoaning the government’s “lack of communication, lack of coherence and lack of credibility”.

So far, there is a gaping disconnect between Hollande’s promises to create jobs and the stark reality of unemployment at 13-year highs above 3 million. More lay-offs are to come, and data point to economic growth stuck at zero.

In the latest setback for Hollande’s push to revive France’s industrial base, union sources revealed on Friday that carmaker Renault would build more than 70 percent of its Clio models in low-wage Turkey. (….)

(Via Reuters: Top News)

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