Francois Hollande is a French-born political figure. He is the incumbent President of the French Republic and a former First Secretary of French Socialist Party. He assumed the presidential office on 15 May 2012.
Early Life and Education
Born to Nicole Marguerite and Georges Gustave on 12 August 1951, Francois Hollande grew up in Rouen, France until he was thirteen years old. Then, the family moved to Neuilly-sur-Seine. There, Hollande joined Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-la-Salle boarding school.
After graduating from high school, Hollande went to Panthéon-Assas University to do an undergraduate study in law. He also attended Cour des comptes after graduating from École nationale d’administration in 1980.
Francois Hollande was supposedly never married although he had several partners and children. His first partner Segolene Royal lived with from 1978 to 2007. The couple had four children. However, after almost three decades of being together, they parted their ways.
After breaking up with Royal, Hollande and journalist Valerie Tierweiler started dating in 2007. They too broke up after seven years. Starting in 2014, Hollande is currently dating Julie Gayet.
Having studied law for years, Hollande primarily worked as a councilor for Court of Audit. However, he didn’t live in that world for long. He entered French politics when he voluntarily worked for Francois Mitterrand in 1974 Presidential Campaign. Later, Hollande was appointed as Mitterrand’s special advisor.
Hollande served government spokesman Max Gallo as a staffer, Ussel as a municipal councilor and National Assembly as a people’s representative. However, he lost his bid for the second tenure in the National Assembly. So, Hollande had to remain a passive politician until 1997, the year when he again got elected to the National Assembly. The same year, Hollande was also elected to serve as the First Secretary of French Socialist Party.
Following the start of Hollande’s party leadership and the resignation of President Lionel Jospin, French Socialist Party started to lose its grasp on government. The party did poorly in 2007 elections. Hence, Hollande was tacitly pressured to seek for an added tenure. However, as he stepped down from First Secretary if the party, he was elected to take the office as the president of the Corrèze General Council.
In 2011, Hollande announced his candidacy for the presidential race. Alongside campaign managers Pierre Moscovici and Stephane Le Foll, Hollande constantly remained people’s favorite in opinion polls. Consequently, he won the final election on 6 May 2012 with 51.7% voters in favor. Hollande officially succeeded Nicolas Sarkozy 15 May 2012.
Francois Hollande has been ambitious thought his term so far. He wants a reduction in nuclear energy production, merge income tax and social contribution and change the tax cap to a new 10k Euros per year. He also vowed to increase the number of teachers in the schools. Likewise, Hollande is supporting same-sex marriage and advocating for the LGBT rights of adoption. He also intervened in the free market with labor reforms such as giving higher authorities to businesses while hiring and firing employees.
Talking about Hollande’s approval ratings, he could perhaps be called one of the most unpopular presidents. His approval ratings have dipped as low as 4% in November 2016. However, he was at 40% after Charlie Hebdo attack in January 2015. It’s assumed that Hollande will not be able to survive the first round if he runs for a second term.
Donald Trump and Francois Hollande
US President Donald Trump and French President Hollande are two prominent leaders of the leading economies in the world. Hence, it’s crucial that they maintain good rapport with each other. However, both the parties have taken hostile stands. At EU summit, he asked President Trump to stay out of EU’s internal affairs. He also alluded to the fact that there might not be any bilateral ties with the US if both the parties find common grounds.
Hollande is continuously reminding Trump about Paris Climate Agreement as well. He says that the US President must respect Paris Climate Deal. More annoyingly – to President Trump – Hollande called him ‘sickening’. With these kinds of hostilities existing between countries across the Atlantic Ocean, global peace will just remain an idea.