You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

French leader’s charm not enough in dismal economy

DIJON, France — President Francois Hollande of France dived into the heart of Burgundy and turned on his self-effacing charm in an effort to win back support from voters deeply disappointed in him.

It did not really work.

Continue reading below

Sending troops this year to the West African nation of Mali gave Hollande a temporary boost in popularity — but record-high and still-growing unemployment matters more, as he found this week on a trip to reconnect with the electorate.

Some polls indicate Hollande has the worst approval ratings of any French president since 1981, with less than a third saying they trust him to solve the country’s problems. France’s unemployment rate reached 10.6 percent in the latest quarter of 2012, highest in 13 years, and youth unemployment is more than 25 percent.

In Dijon, a bastion of his ­Socialist Party, Hollande spent hours saying hello to residents and Socialist sympathizers, as if a smile and kind gaze was the best answer he could give.

When he arrived in a poor neighborhood, suffering from 30 percent unemployment, Hollande could not ignore the disappointment of a part of the population. ‘‘And the promises? Where [are the] promises, where are they?’’ shouted a man in the crowd, referring to Hollande’s campaign pledges last year to stimulate the economy.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.