Tags: sarkozy le pen | hollande | election

Sarkozy, Le Pen Gain as French Punish Hollande in Local Election

Sunday, 29 March 2015 03:31 PM

French voters vented their anger at President Francois Hollande in local elections, benefiting former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP and Marine Le Pen’s National Front.

The UMP won control of between 66 and 71 departments, compared with between 27 and 35 for Hollande’s Socialists, down from 61 previously, according to projections by pollsters CSA and Ifop. The anti-immigrant, anti-euro National Front gained may have won control of two departments for the first time.

“With their vote, the French have expressed their anger, their fatigue with life that is too difficult: unemployment, taxes and a high cost of living,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said late Sunday in Paris.

The French economy has barely grown since Hollande took the presidency in May 2012 and jobless claims have risen and remain near a record high of 3.5 million. France’s tax burden is the highest in the euro area.

Valls pledged new measures to boost investment and growth in coming days. Sarkozy said he takes the vote as a sign his party can take back power in 2017.

Th French have “massively rejected” Hollande’s policies, Sarkozy said. “I’m convinced a change of government is” inevitable.

Ninety-eight of France’s 101 departments voted to select 4,108 representatives to serve six-year terms on councils, which have responsibility for local transport and some health and education spending. Voting took place in 2,054 “cantons,” with each selecting one man and one woman.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Deen in Paris at markdeen@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O’Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net Vidya Root

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French voters vented their anger at President Francois Hollande in local elections, benefiting former president Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP and Marine Le Pen's National Front.
sarkozy le pen, hollande, election
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2015-31-29
Sunday, 29 March 2015 03:31 PM
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