Sarkozy’s popularity plummets as economic crisis looms

February 12th, 2009 - 11:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, Feb 12 (DPA) With joblessness mounting, French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s popularity continues to plunge as the French begin to question his strategy to fight the economic crisis, according to a poll published Thursday.
In the poll, conducted Feb 6-7 by the Ipsos institute and published in the Le Point weekly, only 36 percent of the 940 respondants said they approved of Sarkozy’s actions.

That is the lowest level registered by Sarkozy in an Ipsos poll since he became president in May 2007, and a whopping 9 percent drop since the previous poll, conducted in January.

The survey was published several days after another poll showed that some 60 percent of French adults want Sarkozy to change his strategy of extending billion-euro aid packages to French banks and to do more to aid consumers and small and mid-sized companies.

Since he was viewed as arrogant and too conservative by large segments of the population even before the economic crisis, Sarkozy’s sinking unpopularity could fuel increasingly massive protests and strikes.

According to trade union officials, some 2.5 million people took part in street demonstrations throughout France Jan 29, during a strike of transport and public sector workers.

Union leaders have called for more protests and strikes March 19, to increase pressure on Sarkozy to change his strategy.

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