CLOSE to two thirds of French people approve of President Francois Hollande’s actions in his first days in power, a poll showed at the weekend, giving him a strong foundation to face down other leaders in the Eurozone, as he pledged on the election trail.
Meanwhile German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives saw their lead crumble in the sharpest one-week shift in German voter sentiment in seven years.
An Ifop survey conducted from 18 to 25 May found 61 per cent of voters approved of Hollande’s actions since taking power, the third strongest start recorded by a French president since the Second World War, and the highest for a left-wing president.
His score was just below that of Nicolas Sarkozy, who took power in 2007 with a rating of 65 per cent, and Charles de Gaulle, who scored 67 per cent in 1959.
But Merkel’s Christian Democrats saw an eight percentage point lead over the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) fall to just two points during a week that saw the chancellor face pressure over the euro crisis and domestic turmoil, an Emnid poll showed.