Hollande skeptical about 2017 election run
The French president won’t run in the next elections unless unemployment drops.
FRANCE - French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that he would not stand for a second term in 2017 if unemployment has not fallen by then, adding that his government would carry out fresh reforms to boost the economy.
"We'll continue right to the end, I have even said that I will be judged on that, because if after five years, a president cannot meet the objective that he had when he got elected, he cannot be once more a candidate for the highest office in the country," he said at a news conference.
Record-high unemployment started dragging Hollande's popularity down only a few months after his election in May 2012.
Hollande said that fresh reforms would also aim to help businesses improve their competitiveness.
"France can only preserve its cohesion, its [world] ranking and act in Europe if its economyis strong," he said. "We must be bold, show initiative."
"We will go even further for youth unemployment, [for] long-term unemployed people, to boost the performance of our businesses and help financing the economy."
As Hollande was making these pledges in Paris, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pierre Moscovici told a separate news conference in Brussels that Franceneeds to cut its structural deficit this year by more than currently expected to comply with EU budget rules.
Hollande said France had made progress on its public deficit but that it was still too high. "We will continue reforms, as long as our [five-year] mandate lasts, we will continue," he said.