'Hollande resign' banner flown over WWI memorial before inauguration
It was supposed to be a day that the deeply unpopular French President Francois Hollande could forget all his political and economic woes as he inaugurated a memorial remembering fallen World War I soldiers.
But there was no respite for the French leader as hours before the inauguration Tuesday a tourism plane flew over the memorial in the Notre Dame de Lorette military cemetery pulling a black banner that read "www.
fr" in large, white letters.
"Demission" in French means to resign.
The plane was ushered away from the aerial zone above the memorial in the northern Pas-de-Calais district by a helicopter.
David van Hemelryck, who heads up the "Hollande demission" organisation and has actively participated in protests against gay marriage, immediately claimed the flyover on his Twitter account.
The embattled French leader has been unable to shake off an approval rating that stands at a historic low as unemployment keeps rising and growth grinds to a halt.
But despite Hollande's deep unpopularity, the flyover was quickly condemned on Twitter as the country commemorated Armistice Day, the official end of the devastating 1914-18 conflict during which millions of soldiers and civilians perished.
The French president was due to arrive at 1400 GMT at the site of the new memorial -- which carries the names of nearly 600,000 fallen Allied and enemy soldiers from some 40 countries on gold steel plates set in a huge ellipse.
© 2014 AFP