French President Francois Hollande may have run out of leverage with his peers in the European Union, his political opposition and his own voters. Bloomberg reports:
Hollande’s approval rating fell by five points to 50 percent from July, beating the 54 percent level for Jacques Chirac at the same point in his presidency in August 2002, the poll for Figaro Magazine weekly by TNS-Sofres showed yesterday. Nicolas Sarkozy, who lost to Hollande, had a 64 percent rating after 100 days, while Francois Mitterrand was the most popular with a 66 percent approval rating in August 1981.
The problem could hardly come at a worse time. Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti have been the leaders of a fight with Germany over whether austerity measures set for economically weak nations like Greece and Spain are so great that they will strangle any possibility for growth. The two men have even lobbied for stimulus packages to renew growth in these countries. If Hollande is seen as wounded at home, the strength of his hand overseas likely will be weakened. ‘,
Douglas A. McIntyre