Sarkozy shrugs off dismal ratings ahead of election test

6th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Sarkozy vowed in an interview Thursday to forge ahead with his programme to overhaul France's economy.

   PARIS, March 6, 2008  - French President Nicolas Sarkozy shrugged off
his dismal opinion poll ratings and vowed in an interview Thursday to forge
ahead with his programme to overhaul France's economy.
   "My mission is to ensure that all the reforms which have not been carried
out in France for so many years are now completed," he told Le Figaro ahead of
the first round of local elections on Sunday cast as a referendum on his first
10 months in power.
   The rightwing president said that regardless of the results of the
two-round elections -- in which polls say his right-wing UMP party is expected
to fare badly -- he would "stick to the course" he set himself.
   "Of course, good opinion polls make reforms easier, and bad ones complicate
them, but that does not change my course," Sarkozy said.
   The interview came as the latest opinion poll showed that the head of
state's popularity had fallen four percentage points to 38 percent.
   The CSA poll in Le Parisien newspaper also showed that Prime Minister
Francois Fillon's popularity had again risen, this time by eight points to 55
percent.
   Despite energetic efforts, Sarkozy has failed to stop his poll slide since
the end of last year, among voters who feel he has neglected his promise to
fire up the economy to focus on his private life.

AFP 

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