French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe's approval ratings hit new lows as the "yellow vest" protests gathered pace, according to an Ifop-Fiducial poll for Paris Match and Sud Radio published on Tuesday.
Macron's approval rating fell to 23 percent in the poll conducted late last week, down six points on the previous month. Philippe's rating fell 10 points to 26 percent.
The president's score matches the low charted by his predecessor Francois Hollande in late 2013, according to Paris Match. Hollande was then considered to be the least popular leader in modern French history.
The first "yellow vest" demonstrations were held on Nov. 17 to contest fuel-tax rises, and have since evolved into a broader protest movement and anti-Macron uprising.
Protests in Paris on Dec. 1 turned particularly violent, with the Arc de Triomphe defaced and avenues off Paris's Champs Elysees suffering mass vandalism.
French music band Orange Blossom hails Turkish music
Members of Orange Blossom -- a French music band that mix electronic and world music -- praised Turkish music.Orange Blossom consists of Mexican Carlos Robles Arenas, Egyptian Hend Elway, and French Pierre-jean Chabot with their music blending sounds around the world.The band -- well known in Turkey as their song “Ya Sidi” was used in the soundtrack of popular television series Cukur (the Pit) -- is in the country as part of their concert tour in the Turkish capital Ankara and the central Anatolian province of Konya.Speaking to Anadolu Agency after their concert in Konya, Arenas said that it was his second time in Turkey and the first time in the Konya city -- known as the home of Muslim poet and scholar Rumi, who was born in 1207 in Afghanistan and died in 1273 in Konya.When asked about Turkish music, drummer Arenas said he "loves" it. Arenas also said he respects Turkish music and loves the ney -- an end-blown flute mainstream especially used in the Middle East -- as well the saz, a traditional Turkish stringed musical instrument.“Because people want to copy the American music all the time, we have traditional music, […] we create our music,” he added.
Paris riots hurt French tourism and transport stocks
French stocks sensitive to the economy and to tourism fell in an otherwise buoyant market on Monday after the worst riots in decades swept Paris, stirring concerns about the possible damage from visitors steering clear of the capital.Supermarket Carrefour and highway operator Vinci were the worst-performing, down 2.1 and 2.6 percent respectively. Shares in hotel chain Accor and airline Air France fell by 1.6 and 2.7 percent.Nationwide protests against fuel taxes and living costs, known as the "yellow vest" movement after fluorescent jackets kept in all vehicles in France, escalated on Saturday as rioters ran amok across central Paris, torching cars and looting shops.Macron to call on US funds to build French start-ups, not steal themInvestors and traders connected the stock falls to investors' unease over the potential impact riots could have on the economy and on tourists' appetite to visit the capital."Accor is falling, and it is fair to say that investors are wondering if there will be cancellations at their hotels," said Jerome Schupp, a fund manager at Geneva-based firm Prime Partners."It's not good to see those images of a major capital," said a trader. "It could hurt the economy."Highway operator Vinci Autoroutes said the "yellow vest" protests were continuing to have a major impact, although it did not specify any figures in a press release on Monday morning.French PM meets opposition as Macron seeks way out of 'yellow vest' crisisTraders said the earnings conglomerate Vinci gets from its motorway concessions could be hit by the protests, which have blocked toll roads across France.Oil major Total said on Monday several dozen of its gasoline stations had run dry as a more than two-week long protest over fuel tax hikes began to impact fuel reserves and distribution.The falls came even as France's top stock index climbed 1.7 percent, on track for its best day in a month after a truce in the U.S.-China trade war lifted global markets. Total says fuel stations running dry due to 'yellow vest' protestsFrance must speed up tax cuts, says Finance Minister Le Maire
Macron to call on US funds to build French start-ups, not steal them
French President Emmanuel Macron will urge a visiting group of top Silicon Valley venture capitalists this week to invest in the nation's start-ups while calling on them not to "steal" the best creations, four sources told Reuters.The discreet event, not mentioned in Macron's official schedule, comes at a tough time for the French leader after rioters looted and ransacked boutiques and businesses in central Paris, chaotic images beamed around the world.Executives from some of the biggest names in U.S. tech funding, including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, are among the 40 expected in Paris on Wednesday and Thursday for a tour of the French startup scene.Egypt, France begin war games in Red SeaThe two-day roadshow includes presentations from what sources called tech 'superstars' already investing in France as well as visits to hubs such as the Station F tech incubator in eastern Paris.But instead of simply urging them to invest in France, Macron, who is scheduled to host the investors at the Elysee palace on Thursday evening, will also tell the U.S. funds to help French businesses to flourish rather than pushing the best French entrepreneurs to move to the United States."Today, many French companies raise money in the U.S., and the usual reflex of U.S venture capitalists is to tell them: 'come to the United States then'," a source at Macron's office told Reuters.France's Macron learns the hard way: green taxes carry political risksFrance's Macron visits Arc de Triomphe after Saturday Paris riots"We will tell them: it's an ecosystem, your best interest is to do like in Britain and Israel: invest here and don't move everything (to the U.S.)," the source said.The event was scheduled before the nationwide protests that turned the French capital into a battle zone and the format of Macron's appearance has yet to be finalised, sources said.With his authority challenged by the "yellow vest" protesters, who sprawled anti-capitalist slogans on banks and luxury boutiques on Saturday, Macron has his work cut out to counter the damage done to France's image.Brexit BenefitThe French tech scene has seen a boom in recent years, helped by Macron's efforts to turn France into a "startup nation", as a new generation of tech-savvy entrepreneurs less interested in government careers tap into the large pool of engineers that France's top universities produce every year.'Yellow vest' protests spread to NetherlandsMacron vows punishment for violent Paris protestsMacron aides say France's tech sector is poised to take advantage of Britain's planned exit from the EU to overtake its major European rival."We think the French ecosystem will outgrow the one in England in the coming years," is one of the messages the U.S. investors will hear, the Elysee source said. Goldman Sachs and private equity fund KKR are also among the attendees.But French companies say the most promising startups need access to bigger funding rounds if they are to stay. Investments are not large enough to create "unicorns" worth more than $1 billion. So far this year, only two French firms have closed investment rounds of more than 100 million euros.France to consider state of emergency to prevent riots recurringFrench police clash with 'yellow vest' protesters in Paris, 122 arrestedInstead, successful French startups get snapped up by U.S. rivals, with social mapping firm Zenly's acquisition by SnapChat last year particularly riling the French tech scene.Investors on the two-day visit will tour Station F, a startup campus funded by telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel. They will meet entrepreneurs such as David Gurle, boss of U.S. encrypted messaging service Symphony, who moved its research centre to a technology park in southeastern France.Among other U.S. tech figures who have chosen to relocate to France and who will make pitches are Tony Fadell, a developer of Apple's iPhone, and Ian Rogers, a former executive at its media player iTunes, now chief digital officer of luxury group LVMH. French police brace for more violent protests over rising fuel costsMacron, Abe to discuss Renault-Nissan at G20 as feud brews