Sunday 26 January 2020

Film shows Hollande 'wilting'

French President Francois Hollande is depicted as an increasingly gloomy figure who is losing control over his ministers and who is henpecked by Valerie Trierweiler, his partner, in a new fly-on-the-wall film showing life inside his administration.

The documentary will add to Mr Hollande's loss of authority, coming as he is warned that his failure to carry out economic reforms threatens the existence of the euro.

Antoine Perraud, a critic for the French news website 'Mediapart', said the film showed Mr Hollande visibly wilting under the strains of the job as he battles Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, over the euro's economic policy as French unemployment soars.

Mr Hollande is meeting the European Commission in Brussels where he will be warned that France is becoming the new sick man of Europe, a country whose economic malaise now risks destroying the EU's single currency.

In power for just over a year, the French President has achieved the dubious honour of becoming the most unpopular head of the French state in history.

'Le Pouvoir' (The Power), a documentary by the French director Patrick Rotman, is being released across France, raising more questions about Mr Hollande's ability to push through economic reforms. Perhaps most damaging for the French President is a series of scenes showing that his staff and First Lady do not appear to take him seriously. Meanwhile, France has fallen back into recession with a 0.2pc contraction of GDP in the first quarter, compounding fears that the EU's second biggest economy is in dangerous decline. Germany, only just managed to avoid recession. The powerhouse economy reported 0.1pc growth compared with the previous three months.

Irish Independent

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