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Hollande's popularity plummets on weak economy, high joblessness

(Xinhua)

10:38, September 24, 2012

PARIS, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The approval rating of French President Francois Hollande hit a new record low in September, just four months after he took office, the latest opinion poll showed.

According to an Ifop poll for the weekly Le Journal du Dimanche, Hollande's positive rating was only 43 percent, down from 54 percent in August, which Frederic Dabi, director of the opinion division at Ifop institute, said was "the sharpest decline in popularity."

It is a sign that growth stagnation and high unemployment still weighted on French optimism about the country's economic outlook

In a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany, the French president said, " I ask to be judged on results and these will take time."

"My duty is to ensure that by the end of my mandate, France is in a better state than it was at the beginning," he said.

Elected to be the first Socialist president in 17 years with nearly 52 percent of votes, Hollande pledged to revive economy, reach balanced public finances and provide jobs to millions of jobseekers.

Ifop poll questioned 1,869 respondents from Sept. 13 to 21.

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