President Nicolas Sarkozy rating slips under 50-percent

29th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

29 November 2007, PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy's confidence rating has slipped below the 50-percent mark for the first time since his election in May, according to a poll released on Thursday.

29 November 2007

PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy's confidence rating has slipped below the 50-percent mark for the first time since his election in May, according to a poll released on Thursday.

According to the TNS-Sofres poll, carried out last week at the height of a paralysing transport strike but before the wave of unrest in the Paris suburbs, 49 percent of the French public trust Sarkozy to "solve France's problems".

Sarkozy's confidence ratings was down four points since the previous month, and showed a 15-point drop since September.

The same number, 49 percent, said they were confident in Sarkozy's work as head of state, according to the poll to appear in Le Figaro Magazine Saturday.

Reeling from a nine-day transport strike over pensions reform, 76 percent of respondents said they expected France to experience "a lot of social conflict" in the coming three months.

French morale has also been badly hit by stagnating wages, rising inflation -- which hit two-percent last month for the first time since May 2006 -- and a persistently high jobless rate, at 8.1 percent.

According to the TNS-Sofres poll, 87 percent of the public believe the government is failing to tackle rising prices, while 73 percent thought it was not doing enough to fight unemployment.

Separate figures from the INSEE statistics institute showed French consumer confidence slipping to its lowest level at its lowest point since June 2006.

AFP

Subject: French news

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