French president's popularity back on the rise

9th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 8 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac's popularity has risen to 37 percent after enduring a bruising year in which his compatriots rejected the European constitution and rioting flared in poor immigrant suburbs, a new poll has found.

PARIS, Jan 8 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac's popularity has risen to 37 percent after enduring a bruising year in which his compatriots rejected the European constitution and rioting flared in poor immigrant suburbs, a new poll has found.

The 73-year centre-right veteran politician, who was hospitalised for a week in September with an eye disorder, benefits from a three-point increase in his approval rating since December, according to the LH2 survey for the left-leaning newspaper Libération and i-TELE to be published Monday.

The telephone survey of 1,000 people on January 6 and 7 suggested Chirac's popularity has increased 11 points since June last year, just after a majority of voters cast 'no' ballots in the May 29 constitutional referendum.

Yet 56 percent of respondents still had a negative view of their head of state, while seven percent did not express an opinion.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin's approval rating was holding steady — 49 percent this month compared with 50 percent in December.

Respondents also appeared to give the thumbs up to the government's law and order policies (55 percent) after three weeks of urban riots in October-November when more than 10,000 vehicles were destroyed, 200 public buildings damaged and more than 5,000 people arrested.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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