Hollande faces tough review six months into top job


French president prepares for keynote press conference amid rising discontent over flagging economy and a slump in personal poll ratings.

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French President Francois Hollande prepares to mark his first six months in power amid rising discontent over the flagging economy and a slump in his personal poll ratings, reports Channel News Asia.

The socialist leader conceded last week that the French were "extremely stressed" by the crisis, and wanted "a face-to-face meeting with their president."

He pledged in the run-up to his election that he would hold lengthy bi-annual press conferences to take stock of developments.

The first of those falls on Tuesday, when some 400 foreign and local journalists will attend a two-hour news conference scheduled to start at 5:00 pm (1600 GMT).

But he will have to defend his personal standing as well as that of his government.

Hollande's popularity ratings have fallen to an all-time low, with only 36 percent of the French expressing confidence in him in November, according to a poll conducted by TNS Sofres-Sopra for Le Figaro magazine.

His score in the six months after a presidential election is the lowest since Jacques Chirac tallied 37 percent in 1995. Hollande's predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy was polling 57 percent support in 2007 six months into his presidency.