Poll: Hollande approval rating slips to 54 pct

PARIS - French President Francois Hollande's approval rating fell to 54 percent in August, continuing a steady decline since he came to office, according to a poll released on Saturday.
The declining ratings reflect the challenges Hollande faces in tackling high unemployment and a stagnant economy as he seeks to slash 33 billion euros from next year's budget to meet deficit targets, part of a drive to restore faith in the euro.
The poll, by Ifop for Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper, marked a slide from 61 percent who were satisfied or very satisfied with Hollande's performance in May, the month he became president, to 59 percent in June and 56 percent in July.
The popularity of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also declined, falling by 4 percentage points to 57 percent in August, according to the survey. This compares with an approval rating of 65 percent in his first two months in the job.
The poll was based on the views of 920 people aged 18 and over, interviewed by telephone on Aug. 23-24.