THE approval ratings of France's Socialist President, Francois Hollande, and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault have fallen sharply since June, two opinion polls showed yesterday
The polls highlight public frustration over stalled growth, unemployment at a 13-year high and a series of mass layoffs that have made the Socialist government appear impotent in the face of an economic crisis.
Mr Hollande, preparing to unveil a 2013 budget, must cut the deficit by €30bn to meet European Union targets and ask parliament to ratify a European fiscal pact.
With scores as low as 44pc, his post-election honeymoon has ended far more quickly than that of conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, whose popularity remained above 50pc eight months into his 2007-2012 presidency.
Mr Hollande, who was elected in May and advocates a low-key style of leadership and little involvement in day-to-day affairs, has had to step up attempts to appear proactive in fighting the crisis, adopting aspects of Mr Sarkozy's style.