Nicolas Sarkozy most unpopular French president in more than 50 years

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Nicolas Sarkozy has become the most unpopular French president in more than 50 years, according to a new poll.

As his country teetered on the brink of economic chaos because of strikes, blockades and riots, new polls put his approval rating at less than 30 per cent.

The figures made Mr Sarkozy even less popular than President Charles de Gaulle was in 1968 - the year millions took to the streets to demand a complete overhaul of French society.

The then ageing wartime leader fled France and prepared to call in the army to deal with rioters.
But while De Gaulle resigned in 1969, Mr Sarkozy shows no sign of quitting despite his new pension bill raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 being met with nationwide protests.

It came as thousands of British half term holidaymakers faced fuel shortages, 9,000 tons of rubbish lay uncollected in Marseilles, and the government estimated the cost of strikes at more than £350 million a day.

A new BVA Orange L'Express poll showed 71 per cent of the population were unhappy with Mr Sarkozy's policies.

This followed a Journal du Dimanche newspaper poll at the weekend putting Mr Sarkozy's approval rating at just 29 percent - the lowest since his May 2007 election.

Nobody else has achieved such a low rating since De Gaulle founded the Fifth Republic in 1958. He was succeeded as President by Georges Pompidou, Valery Giscard-d'Estaing, Francois Mitterrand, and Jacques Chirac, all of whom were extremely controversial figures....

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