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CITIZEN HOLLANDE: Public opinion against French President François Hollande is mounting, with 20,000 posters splashed across Paris calling citizens to demonstrate in the central Châtelet neighborhood this Sunday, the last day of men’s ready-to-wear shows and the moment when much of the couture crowd arrives in town.
The demonstration is being organized by a body called Hollande Démission (Hollande Resign), which has been making public appeals for the president’s resignation since July last year.
Recent allegations about the president’s private life seem not to be helping boost his popularity. While Hollande on Tuesday told a press conference about new economic measures that his alleged affair with French actress Julie Gayet should remain private, the French public seems to disagree, despite the country’s strict privacy laws.
Sales of Closer magazine, which revealed the supposed affair in its Jan. 10 issue, surged 50 percent compared with its average distribution, a spokeswoman for its publisher Mondadori confirmed.
The publisher has reprinted the issue, with a further 150,000 copies scheduled to hit newsstands today. The magazine’s Web site also saw visitor numbers surge 800 percent to 1.4 million on Friday, the day the story broke.
Hollande told the press conference, at which he unveiled a volley of measures aimed at boosting France’s ailing economy, that the question of his private life would be clarified ahead of a state visit to Washington on Feb. 11.
Meanwhile, the actress is fronting the cover of this week’s issue of French Elle magazine, dated to Jan. 17. Elle usually comes out on Fridays, but the issue exceptionally hit newsstands Wednesday, two days ahead of its usual release day. The headline reads “Julie Gayet, Actress and Committed Woman, a French Passion.”