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France's president to respond to growing criticism

February 19. 2013 5:07PM
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(AP) France's president can't win.

Six months after sweeping to power on an anti-austerity wave, Socialist President Francois Hollande's popularity is in the dumps.

Leftists are disappointed he didn't champion a state-sponsored stimulus program. Those on the right say he's raising too many taxes and not cutting enough spending.

Hollande is giving his first big news conference Tuesday, and aides say he'll try to explain what he's doing to reduce near-10-percent unemployment and get the economy growing again.

Among the top five reasons given in a recent poll about why Hollande is unpopular: He hiked taxes, he lacks vision, and he lacks solutions strong enough to pull France out of crisis.

Associated Press

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