Top French presidents of the Fifth Republic
A recent survey conducted by Odoxa-Dentsu Consulting for France Info and Le Figaro revealed what Europeans thought about the Fifth Republic but also helped to establish a ranking of French presidents. This survey was conducted among 996 French people on the Internet. It is worth recalling that the Fifth Republic, which is currently the political regime in place in France, follows on from the Fourth Republic established in 1946. It was established by Charles de Gaulle in 1958. Without further ado, discover the French presidents of the Fifth Republic, from the least appreciated to the most successful.
According to 31% of the people surveyed by Odoxa-Dentsu Consulting, François Mitterrand is the best president France has had in the last 40 years, since the establishment of the Fifth Republic. Mitterrand was president from May 21, 1981 to May 17, 1995. Before becoming President of France, however, the statesman was a minister eleven times under the political regime of the Fourth Republic. François Mitterrand turned out to be the very first socialist at the head of the Fifth Republic. He brought about several changes in France, including the abolition of the death penalty and government cohabitation with Jacques Chirac.
Jacques Chirac is popular with 26% of the French, at least those who participated in the study conducted for France Info and Le Figaro, which places him immediately after François Mitterrand in the ranking. Chirac, who was elected president from May 17, 1995 to May 16, 2007, is at the origin of two political parties: the Rally for the Republic (RPR) and the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). As mentioned above, Jacques Chirac was at the head of the first cohabitation government with François Mitterrand. Although Jacques Chirac has received many European and foreign decorations and distinctions, political analysts have a rather negative opinion of this statesman. According to an article published in the Washington Post, Jacques Chirac is a “poor strategist”, a “warm European”, as well as an “eternal opportunist”…
Nicolas Sarkozy came in third place with 14% of the votes in favour of him. The former President of the French Republic from 16 May 2007 to 15 May 2012 introduced several reforms, including university reforms. In fact, since Sarkozy came to power, universities are now autonomous. It also introduced the Tepa Act, a law that exempts taxpayers from overtime contributions and taxes and abolishes most inheritance taxes.
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing obtained 13% of the popular votes in the survey conducted by Odoxa-Dentsu Consulting. The statesman who was president from 27 May 1974 to 21 May 1981 made many changes to French society. Among his actions, he decriminalized abortion and introduced divorce by mutual consent.
Emmanuel Macron is much less popular than his predecessors. In fact, the man who has been President of the Fifth Republic since May 14, 2017, becoming the youngest French President in history, received only 10% of the votes in his favour. Political analysts believe that his lack of popularity is due to the fact that Macron made the bold promise to “liberate-protect” in the election, a promise that does not yet seem to have been kept…
François Hollande is the worst president France has ever known according to the majority of people interviewed by Odoxa-Dentsu Consulting. Holland, which held the position of President from 15 May 2012 to 14 May 2017, wanted to reduce the unemployment rate. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate curve continued to rise drastically while Holland was in power. The economic objectives set by Holland were also not achieved. However, the former president introduced marriage for all. This is a good thing in itself, but it has unfortunately angered many of its citizens and contributed to a further division in France.
In short, France has been marked by several reforms that have sometimes divided its society and then changed it. The French presidents who were in power during the Fifth Republic had some successes and somewhat less remarkable moments that will have marked certain periods of political history.
Cover photo: Reuters