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Macron polls lower as France’s most unpopular former president

French President Emmanuel Macron's support has fallen to just 19 percent, only one year after winning over 66 percent of French voters, according to a new poll.

Published: September 24, 2018, 12:30 pm

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    Macron has dropped so sharply in popularity that he now below his much-despised predecessor, François Hollande.

    The president’s policies are seen by voters as advancing only big business and the rich, and the result is that Macron’s popularity is now at its lowest level since the start of his term.

    A major survey published on Sunday showed that most respondents said they were not satisfied with his leadership.

    According data from research group Ifop, published in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, the president has dropped from 34 percent support last month and 39 percent two months ago.

    Several other polls have shown Macron’s approval ratings declining sharply in recent months after several scandals involving his private bodyguard, the Moroccan Alexandre Benalla.

    Benalla was caught on video assaulting May Day protesters.

    Macron’s leadership was also damaged by the surprise resignation of his popular environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, earlier this month. Last week Macron added to his woes when he condescendingly told a young unemployed man he could easily get a job if he tried.

    The young man in response told Le Parisien that he was not really happy about his meeting with the President of the Republic. The unemployed 25-year-old horticulturist who Emmanuel Macron advised to “cross the street” to find work, said the advice was “a slap” in his face.

    “He is not at all sensing what reality is like. He is completely in his own world. He is still in the world of Care Bears. He’s dreaming. He is president, but he does not deal with people who are unemployed, he does not take care of all that,” said Jonathan Jahan, 25, interviewed by BFMTV.

    Macron’s troubles are bound to increase: On Monday, the government will unveil its draft budget proposing cuts to the public sector payroll and caps on pensions.

    Some 60 percent of retirees have seen a social security tax on their state pensions increase by nearly 2 percent under Macron, while the value of their pensions has not been not keeping pace with inflation.

    Faced with angry pensioners the government quickly announced this past week that it would exempt some 300 000 retirees from another tax increase.

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