News / Europe

France's Hollande Booed at Tribute to Fallen WWI Soldiers

France's President Francois Hollande attends a ceremony to commemorate the end of the World War I at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Nov. 11, 2013.
France's President Francois Hollande attends a ceremony to commemorate the end of the World War I at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Nov. 11, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— French police arrested about 70 people at an Armistice Day memorial ceremony on Monday after protesters, who the government said were linked to the far right, booed President Francois Hollande.

Newscasters said it was the first time a French head of state had been jeered on November 11, which commemorates the signing of the armistice in 1918 between World War I allies and Germany.

Scuffles erupted between police and the protesters as the Socialist president's motorcade drove up the tree-lined Champs-Elysees boulevard to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe in central Paris.

Some of the protesters shouted “Hollande, step down” and “Socialist Dictator!” and Interior Minister Manuel Valls said they included members of far-right groups opposed to government policies such as same-sex marriages.

“Today on the Champs-Elysees, several dozen individuals linked to the far right... did not want to respect this moment of contemplation and gathering,” Valls told reporters, describing their actions as “unacceptable.”

One protester told BFM-TV the boos and gibes were targeted purely at Hollande.

“I find it absolutely shameful that we don't have the right to speak up without being arrested,” said the woman. “Saying 'Hollande, step down' is not offensive.”

“We have the impression that he's not listening so we have to protest,” she said, without specifying why she wanted the president to resign.

A CSA poll published last Friday showed Hollande's popularity ratings, pummel by an ailing economy, heavy taxes and other issues, at the lowest level of any president since the founding of France's Fifth Republic 55 years ago.

Protests have forced Hollande to give ground over planned tax increases, including most recently a new levy on heavy trucks that mobilized hundreds in the western region of Brittany. Hollande has now deferred but not scrapped the levy.

Valls said Monday's protesters included members of the far-right National Front, which has seen its popularity surge on the back of the widespread public discontent ahead of municipal and European elections scheduled for next year.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid