French President Francois Hollande was jeered when on his way to lead the Armistice Day commemoration ceremony in central Paris.
Protesters shouted at the president’s motorcade as it drove up the tree-lined Champs -Elysees saying “Hollande step down”, and “Socialist Dictator”. Reports suggest it is the first time a French head of state has been jeered on November 11.
“They are fed up that this government is not listening to them, it is a government which is raising taxes every day, that is forever limiting their freedom. It’s not complicated, France is in a very bad state,” said one of the demonstrators
Police arrested around 70 of the protesters. The government said they were linked to the far right and condemned their action.
“On the Champs Elysees there were unfortunately several dozen individuals who not only wanted to attack the president but primarily France, the nation and the Republic. It is enough,” said Manuel Valls, France’s Interior Minister
A recent opinion poll showed Hollande’s popularity ratings – hit by public discontent over taxes – at the lowest of any president since the founding of France’s Fifth Republic 55 years ago. He has already conceded ground over some planned tax increases.