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Hollande's ex makes a fresh start


 Valerie Trierweiler. Photo: AP

Valerie Trierweiler. Photo: AP

Valerie Trierweiler. Photo: AP

A DAY after splitting from France's president, Valerie Trierweiler launched a new stage in her life with a charity visit to India.

Back at home, President Francois Hollande faced a new showing of discontent with his presidency as 17,000 people marched through central Paris, angry at his handling of the stagnant economy, high unemployment and high taxes.

The former First Lady arrived in Mumbai last night after a flight from Paris, in which she travelled business class. She emerged looking tired but smiling.

She is on a long-scheduled humanitarian mission in India, which she maintained despite having just emerged last week from a week-long stay in hospital.

Ms Trierweiler was treated for what aides described as shock and the blues after a French gossip magazine published images that it said proved Mr Hollande was having an affair with an actress. Aides said Ms Trierweiler, a career journalist, is limiting her activities in India and will not visit a slum as scheduled.

"These last few days have been difficult. But today she is serene," said Ms Trierweiler's chief of staff, Patrice Biancone.

He said her office as First Lady will be formally eliminated on Wednesday.

The head of Action Against Hunger said Ms Trierweiler planned to commit herself to humanitarian work.



Mr Hollande, who has never married, announced the split from Ms Trierweiler yesterday. They had been a couple since 2007, after Mr Hollande ended a two-decade relationship with the mother of his four children, former presidential candidate Segolene Royal.

In an interview published yesterday and conducted before he had split with Ms Trierweiler, Mr Hollande renewed his plea for privacy.