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Hollande under pressure after affair report

Paris, Jan 11 : French President Francois Hollande is coming under pressure to clarify his situation, after a weekly magazine Closer reported his alleged secret affair with actress Julie Gayet.


The president will make a key policy announcement in a press conference next week amid fears it may be overshadowed by the allegations, BBC reported Saturday.

It will be a platform for the president to launch his economic programme for 2014 and detail new ways to spur growth and create jobs in the country.

But the president might be forced to make some kind of official statement regarding his alleged affair in order to clear the ground.

One of the French papers described the allegations as "catastrophic in every possible way for Francois Hollande".

Closer's article, which describes Hollande riding across Paris on the back of a scooter to see his alleged lover, could ruin the president's year, French papers warned Saturday.

In a seven-page photo spread titled "The President's secret love", Closer showed Hollande and Gayet arriving in and leaving a same flat in Paris.

Hollande said the publication was an "attack on the right to privacy". He said he might sue, but did not deny it.

Hollande, who took office in May 2012, has seen slipping public support recently. One poll in November gave him just 15 percent support, the lowest for any president in the past 50 years.

He has four children with Segolene Royal, who failed to challenge Sarkozy in the 2007 election. His life companion now is Valerie Trierweiler, 47, a French journalist.

--IANS (Posted on 11-01-2014)

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