Image of Donald Trump improves among French people

Fewer French people have a negative image of American President Donald Trump, a new poll has revealed and there's one main reason why. However the French are from desperate to have their own version of Trump in the Elysée Palace.

Image of Donald Trump improves among French people
Photo: AFP

The poll that was carried out after the midterm elections this week revealed that 65 percent of French people have a negative opinion of Donald Trump.

While that means there's still a clear majority who are not fans of the divisive US president, that figure is actually a drop of 16 percentage points in one year, suggesting that the French are less hostile towards POTUS.

“At this rate the American president will no longer be unpopular among a majority of French people by the time he finishes his term in office,” said the poll carried out by Odoxa and Dentsu consulting for Le Figaro Newspaper and France Info radio.

Is there any reason why Trump is less unpopular than a year ago?

“It's simply because the French might not like who he is, but they judge some of the things he does less negatively,” read the poll.

“Why has his image improved? Because his protectionist measures are seen as being positive for jobs in the United States by 57 percent of French people. However most of those polled accepted those same measures were bad for Europe.

However only 10 percent of French people had a clear positive view of Trump, while 25 percent were undecided. 

So it doesn't mean the French are ready to elect their own Trump.

“No, 100 percent no!” says the poll. “Eight out of 10 French people are hostile to this idea.”

According to the poll the French are divided in how they see Trump, with working classes far less critical of the US president than high-ranking white collar workers.

Trump has a negative image among 84 percent of France's highest earners compared to 57 percent of blue collar workers.

Asked to qualify Trump's characteristics some 84 percent of respondents judged him as “racist” while 83 percent agreed he was “dangerous”. 

Only 20 percent thought he was “competent” and only “30 percent” thought he was “effective”.

Asked to pick out a French political figure that most reminded them of Donald Trump, a majority of French people opted for far right leader Marine Le Pen.

In second place came Emmanuel Macron.

Trump is due in France this week to participate in the ceremony to mark the 100 year anniversary since the end of World War One.


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France aims for US digital tax deal by late August, despite Trump opposition

France wants to reach a deal with the US on taxing tech giants by a G7 meeting in late August, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Saturday.

France aims for US digital tax deal by late August, despite Trump opposition
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire. Photo: AFP

He was responding to US President Donald Trump, who on Friday vowed “substantial” retaliation against France for a law passed this month on taxing digital companies even if their headquarters are elsewhere.

The law would affect US-based global giants like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, among others.

Trump denounced French President Emmanuel Macron's “foolishness”, though they discussed the issue by phone on Friday, according to the White House.

Macron confirmed that he had a “long” conversation with Trump, stressing the pair would “continue to work together in view of the G7”.

“We will discuss international taxation, trade and collective security”, he said Saturday.

His office earlier said Macron had told Trump that the tax on the tech giants was not just in France's interest but was something they both had a stake in.

Neither side revealed if they had also discussed Trump's threat to tax French wines in retaliation.

Le Maire took the same line at a news conference Saturday: “We wish to work closely with our American friends on a universal tax on digital activities.

“We hope between now and the end of August — the G7 heads of state meeting in Biarritz — to reach an agreement.”

Leaders of the Group of Seven highly industrialised countries are to meet in the southwestern French city on August 24-26.

Le Maire emphasised that “there is no desire to specifically target American companies,” since the three-percent tax would be levied on revenues generated from services to French consumers by all of the world's largest tech firms, including Chinese and European ones. 

But Deputy White House spokesman Judd Deere noted earlier that France's digital services tax was already the subject of an investigation at the US Trade Representative's office, potentially opening the door to economic sanctions.

“The Trump administration has consistently stated that it will not sit idly by and tolerate discrimination against US-based firms,” Deere said in a statement. 

The French law aims to plug a taxation gap that has seen some internet heavyweights paying next to nothing in European countries where they make huge profits, because their legal base is in smaller EU states.

France has said it would withdraw the tax if an international agreement was reached, and Paris hopes to include all OECD countries by the end of 2020.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is a Paris-based forum that advises the world's advanced economies.

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