The French are bleaker about their country’s future than at any time since 2005, a new poll showed on Saturday, Sept 1, with 68 percent saying they are “rather” or “very” pessimistic, the highest level ever in the initial months of a new presidency, Reuters reported.
The poll’s findings jibed with a survey released last weekend which found that Socialist President Francois Hollande’s approval rating had slipped to 54 percent, continuing a steady decline since he took office in May.
The level of pessimism fell just short of an all-time high of 70 percent registered in August 2005, when the poll was created near the end of Jacques Chirac’s government.
Only 34 percent of those surveyed were confident in the government’s ability to battle unemployment, and just 20 percent expect the government to be able to improve their buying power.
Pessimism stood at just 34 percent at the equivalent point in Chirac’s presidency in 2002 and 50 percent in Nicolas Sarkozy’s in 2007, the firm said.
The poll found that the pessimism extended even to 58 percent of Socialist party supporters.
Nearly 60 percent lacked confidence in the government’s ability to strengthen law and order, which has emerged as a concern in the wake of riots last month in the city of Amiens.
Those surveyed were asked: “In thinking about the future, for you and your children, would you say that you are very optimistic, rather optimistic, rather pessimistic or very pessimistic,” along with queries about their confidence in the government’s ability to make progress on various issues.