- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 18, 2005

FRANCE

Chirac popularity plunges in poll

PARIS — President Jacques Chirac’s popularity rating has plunged to a mere 28 percent, down 12 points in the past month, according to a poll conducted for today’s edition of Le Journal du Dimanche.

But 44 percent of those who replied said they were so far happy with the performance of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, whom Mr. Chirac appointed this month following the French referendum vote against the European constitution.

According to the monthly poll, which IFOP has been conducting since 1958, Mr. Chirac was approaching lows recorded in 1995 and 1996 during his first mandate.

The late President Francois Mitterrand scored the lowest popularity rating of 22 percent.

GERMANY

6 in 10 unhappy with Schroeder

BERLIN — More than six in 10 Germans have a negative opinion of the performance of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s coalition government, according to a poll to be published tomorrow by the magazine Der Spiegel, three months ahead of legislative elections.

Sixty-two percent of Germans surveyed believed the country has changed for the worse since 1998, when Mr. Schroeder’s Social Democrats and coalition partner the Greens, led by Foreign Minister Joschka Fisher, came to power.

Only 13 percent felt the situation had improved in Germany, according to the poll of more than 1,000 people conducted June 14-15 by the institute Infratest.

PORTUGAL

Group protestsrise in immigration

LISBON — Portugal’s far-right National Front organized a march in the capital yesterday to protest against the country’s immigration policy, which it claimed was leading to a rise in crime such as the mugging of beachgoers a week ago

Some 400 people, according to organizers, joined the demonstration that was called after bathers at a popular beach near Lisbon were robbed by what police said were gangs of second-generation immigrant youths.

The right-wing extremists, including some neo-Nazi youths, gathered in the Martim Moni district, a multi-racial neighborhood in the capital.


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