Few French have confidence in their leader

July 13, 2005 at 6:51 AM
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PARIS, July 13 (UPI) -- Less than one-third of French citizens have confidence in their president or their government, surveys showed Wednesday.

A day before President Jacques Chirac delivers his annual Bastille Day address, a poll published in Le Parisien newspaper found only 32 percent of respondents had "confidence" in Chirac's ability to respond to their problems.

Another poll, also published Wednesday, found only 28 percent of French had confidence in the ability of Chirac's new center-right government to create new jobs.

Cutting France's high unemployment rate is a top priority of French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who assumed his new functions a few weeks ago, as part of a wider Cabinet reshuffle.

A third poll, published Tuesday in France's Liberation newspaper, only gave Chirac a 30 percent popularity rating. Still, that marked a boost from only 26 percent the month before, according to the survey by the Louis-Harris-Yahoo polling services.

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