French government faces key confidence vote

Posted By: IANS
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French Govt faces key confidence vote
Paris, Sep 16: The French Socialist government faces a key parliamentary confidence vote Tuesday as the country battles political and economic crises and with President Francois Hollande's popularity at a record low.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls will outline the government's work programme in the National Assembly and submit it to a vote, France 24 reported.

Hollande's poll approval ratings have crashed to 13 percent - the lowest for any modern-day president - over his failure to kickstart growth and employment, and many French voters struggle to see him as a credible leader.

According to officials, the government is unlikely to lose the confidence vote, which would precipitate fresh elections.

At least 30 Socialist MPs are thought likely to abstain in the vote, triggered by a cabinet reshuffle after three Left-wing ministers lost their jobs for criticising the government's austerity measures, BBC reported.

Valls comfortably won a similar vote in April but if he fails to secure backing in the 577-member assembly for the government's programme, he will have to tender his resignation.

Former President Nicolas Sarkozy is also set to return to the political fray by the end of the week, with the aim of leading the opposition Union for Popular Movement (UMP) into the 2017 presidential election.

Sources said he would either announce his decision in the newspapers or on Facebook.

Hollande will attempt to fight back Thursday facing the nation in a lengthy televised news conference regarding France's zero growth and record high unemployment.


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