Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

The highs and lows of Cannes for the critics

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Remembering our friend and colleague Jean-Karim Fall

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Bad diplomacy, brawls & bromance

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Pitch Perfect's Brittany Snow becomes an urban warrior

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US President wraps up world tour in Italy (Part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US President wraps up world tour in Italy (Part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

The battle against illegal fishing in West Africa

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Trump has already quit the Paris climate deal - just not publicly

Read more

#TECH 24

The Ice Memory Project: A treasure trove for future scientists

Read more

Europe

Thousands mark Hollande's first year with protests

© Anne-Diandra Louarn

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-05-05

Thousands of people took to the streets of Paris on Sunday to protest against François Hollande's first year in power, accusing him of betraying the left, as the latest poll shows him to be the most unpopular president in modern French history.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Paris on Sunday to mark Socialist President François Hollande's first year in office by accusing him of turning his back on the left.

On the eve of the anniversary of Hollande's May 6 win last year over right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy, the Communist-backed Left Front gathered supporters for a march starting at the Bastille, the iconic square of the French Revolution.

Hollande has 'lost support on the left without picking up any on the right'

The demonstrations come with polls showing Hollande as the most unpopular president in modern French history. Many voters are angered by an economy on the edge of recession and unemployment hitting a 16-year high.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Left Front's firebrand candidate in last year's vote, called the protest in Paris last month at the height of a scandal over Hollande's ex-budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac being charged with tax fraud.

Mélenchon told the crowd the Socialist government had betrayed its supporters on the left.

"We do not want the world of finance in power! We do not accept the politics of austerity!" he told protesters waving the red flags of left-wing movements.

‘Disillusioned’ demonstrators

“We came to be heard and to show the people that the left won’t be fooled!” said Jacky, a demonstrator in his forties, from Paris’s suburbs.

The word on his and everyone else’s lips was “disillusionment.”

“We elected a president from the left, we want left-wing politics!” some sang.

“The French people don’t want austerity!” others exclaimed.

In an interview on Sunday with newspaper Le Parisien, Mélenchon called on Hollande to "return to the left, where he was when he was elected".

He accused Hollande of contributing to Europe's economic crisis by focusing on "the interests of shareholders, of big business and of European austerity policies, to the detriment of the workers."

Mélenchon called for a government reshuffle with himself or Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg -- considered one of Hollande's most left-wing ministers -- as prime minister.

Sunday's protests follow another demonstration on Wednesday that brought hundreds of supporters of the far-right National Front to the streets of Paris, as a poll showed its leader Marine Le Pen would come second to Sarkozy if an election were held now, far ahead of Hollande in third place.

Since his election, Hollande's approval rating has fallen faster and further than any other president's since the founding of France's Fifth Republic in 1958.

(FRANCE 24 with wires) 

Date created : 2013-05-05

  • FRANCE

    One year of Hollande leaves French with bitter taste

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    EU forecasts 2013 French slide into recession

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France’s far right shows its strength on May Day

    Read more

COMMENT(S)