French President Macron


PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron’s approval rating has fallen below 50 percent to its lowest level since October last year, a poll showed on Sunday, as the government pushes ahead with plans to shake up France’s costly civil service.

In a Feb. 7-17 survey by pollster Ifop for the weekly Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper, 44 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Macron, down 6 points from Ifop’s previous poll in January.

It was the lowest approval rating for Macron since October, when it stood at 42 percent.

The government announced plans in early February to modernize the public administration in a country with one of the highest public spending ratios in the world.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the government would have no qualms about making changes in the public sector, even if it encounters resistance. His budget minister Gerald Darmanin also said a voluntary redundancy plan for government employees could be a possible move.

Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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