As he promised on the campaign trail, French President François Hollande has become a leading advocate for pro-growth, anti-austerity policies to address Europe's debt crisis. Just back from talks in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel, he's set to meet over the next few days with the prime ministers of Greece, Spain, and Italy, and with European Union President Herman Van Rompuy.
French voters, however, do not seem impressed. A poll released Aug. 23 showed Hollande's approval rating has fallen to 49 percent, down 5 points since July. Some 72 percent of voters said Hollande had not been active enough in dealing with the economy and unemployment. Impatience is simmering "within the very heart of the president's electoral base," said Yves-Marie Cann of the CSA polling group that conducted the survey.