Francois Hollande came to power in France as a result of the presidential elections of 2012. The rise to power took place amid the economic crisis and the lack of popularity of the president in office, Nicolas Sarkozy. During the campaign, Hollande promised to be a different president and halt austerity measures. It’s important to know more about the most unpopular French president in history and how it looks now after his term in France. We present you 25 interesting facts about Francois Hollande you should know:
I Early life, education, and family
1 He was born on August 12, 1954, in the town of Rouen. His father was a physicist and his mother was a social worker.
2 The father of the future socialist president had far right views.
3 When he turned 13 he moved with his family to Paris where he continued his studies at secondary school Lycée Pasteur.
4 In 1975 he graduated école des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Paris
5 Between 1991-2012 he wrote seven books and scientific papers.
6 For 30 years he had a relationship with Ségolène Royal, an important woman in French politics, with whom he had four children. A month after Royal lost the presidential elections against Sarkozy in 2007, the couple announced the separation.
II Political career before 2012
7 Although he was not a party member, Francois Hollande has contributed to the presidential campaign of Francois Mitterand in 1974.
8 At the age of 25 years, Francois Hollande enters the Socialist Party.
9 In 1981, he dueled with the future president Jacques Chirac for a seat in the National Assembly. Unfortunately for Hollande, he lost the battle.
11 After the defeat of Jospin in the first round of presidential elections in April 2002. Francois Hollande tried to maintain the unity of the left coalition in an attempt to win the parliamentary elections in June.
12 After the defeat in the elections, the Socialist Party held a congress in Dijon for the discussion of a new political strategy. Following the congress which took place 16-18 May, Francois Hollande managed to keep party leadership, after obtaining the support of several leading figures in the party.
13 During the 2012 presidential election, he had an anti-austerity speech, promising measures to revive the economy and create new jobs.
III President of France
15 Level Hollande’s approval ratings have not always been low. According to surveys, in the first months after the 2012 presidential elections, Francois Hollande’s approval ratings increased to 60%. Since then the confidence of the French in the president has constantly declined. In 2016 Dailymail calls Francois Hollande the most unpopular president in the history of France.
16 On December 1, Francois Hollande has announced he will not run for another term for the presidency of France. Thus he became the first president in the history of France who decides to give up before a second term.
17 During the election campaign, he promised that the unemployment rate will begin to decline in a year. And again, the reality has proven another. Since becoming president the unemployment rate rose from 9.7% in 2012 Q2 to 10.6 in Q3 2015. This means that the total number of people without jobs increased by 600,000.
18 Youth unemployment remains at high levels. Approximately 25% of young people do not have a job. By comparison, Germany youth unemployment is 7%.
19 During the campaign, he was a great fighter against the austerity measures. Since 2014 probably seeing the evolution of the French economy, he decided to make a radical change by adopting measures for business and public spending cuts. This change has displeased some Socialist Party members and voters who chose him.
20 In 2012 France’s budget deficit was 4.8% of GDP. Francois Hollande during the campaign promised to eliminate the deficit by 2017. Although spending cuts and tax increases, the French government has missed this target. According to estimates in 2016, the budget deficit is 3.2% of GDP.
21 During the 2012 election campaign promised a wealth tax of 75% for people with annual incomes above one million euros. This proposal proved ultimately counterproductive for several reasons. First businessmen began to avoid investing in France. Secondly, important figures like Gerard Depardieu, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, Bernard Arnault left the country to avoid paying tax.
22 Regarding energy policy, the president of France promised to reduce the country’s dependence on nuclear energy production. According to his electoral platform contribution of nuclear energy to total energy production is expected to fall from 75% to 50% by 2023. The contribution of renewable energy should reach 40% in 2032, compared to 15.5% in 2014, according to Eurostat. Fessenheim nuclear reactor (the oldest in France) would be closed by the end of 2017.
23 During his term as president, same-sex marriages were legalized. Moreover, during the election campaign, Francois Hollande has supported this initiative. By signing Bill no. 344 on May 17, 2013, these marriages became legal and the first ceremony took place 11 days later.
24 During the presidential campaign, he promised to increase the minimum wage, which Sarkozy Nicolas froze him for 5 years. In the 2012-2016 period, according to tradingeconomics.com, the minimum monthly wage increased from 1,365 euros to 1,466 euros.
25 What are the main consequences of the mandate of President Francois Hollande’s? Currently, the French economy is still in difficulty and needs serious reforms if it wants rapid progress. Because of the poor results of the socialist government, the National Front of Marie Le Pen has recorded a major success in the 2014 European elections, with around 25%. The popularity of leftist parties has decreased Dramatically Because of Hollande’s term. The road is paved for the return of the right to power in 2017.