Government survives confidence vote


President François Hollande and his Socialist government have survived a confidence vote brought by Prime Minister Manuel Valls to try and bolster support for the new Cabinet.

The vote which took place last night gave the government 269 votes to 244 against in support of the government’s new pro-business economic package or Responsibility Pact. That was, however, 20 votes short of a majority in the 577 seat National Assembly and more than 50 lawmakers abstained including about 30 Socialist Party members.

The French government has suffered from a deteriorating economy and following an open rebellion by several ministers in August the president sacked the cabinet and introduced a more business friendly team. That has caused stresses within the Socialist Party with many left wing members expressing unhappiness over policies that are designed to reinvigorate business and ditch the original ‘tax and spend’ model.

The French President has been struggling for months and in recent times has faced ridicule following the publication of a book by a former mistress as well as plummeting opinion polls which give him just 13% approval ratings amongst French citizens.

Prime Minister Valls, who came in earlier this year on a high has also seen his popularity ratings fall. A TNS Sofre poll points to a drop of 14 points in the last month to 30%.

A France 24 with AFP article reports a new poll which says that two thirds of French voters think there will be a “social explosion in the coming months”. Air France pilots started a one week strike yesterday in a dispute over cost cuts.

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