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Hollande handed spectacles in anniversary prank

One of France’s most outspoken politicians delivered François Hollande a pair of spectacles on Monday “in order for him to see the suffering of the French people,” as the beleaguered president celebrated his first anniversary in power.


“I’ll be at the Elysée Palace on Monday at 10 am to present the president with a gift and a formal letter,” Nicolas Dupont-Aignan tweeted late on Sunday, not mentioning which gift he had selected for the occasion.


Not long after, the website of conservative daily Le Figaro revealed that Dupont-Aignan planned to present to Mr Hollande with a pair of spectacles, “in order for him to see the suffering of the French people”.


“Taking into account the terrible trouble François Hollande has in understanding the problems of the French people, and moreover his inability to resolve them, this simple and inexpensive gift will be as useful to him as to France on the whole,” he is quoted as saying by AFP.


Dupont-Aignan, who was a member of the leading opposition UMP party before quitting to run in the 2007 presidential election (he failed to get past the first hurdle), is best known in France for repeatedly trashing the euro and generally disparaging politicians from left to right (but mainly left). He is an MP, a mayor, and leader of the eurosceptic and Gaullist movement, Debout La République (Arise the Republic).


Dupont-Aignan’s former colleagues at the UMP have also reveled in Hollande’s dire ratings on his one-year anniversary with a highly-questionable “we told you so” campaign. Posters showing a soaked-through Hollande, a banner reading “failure” and the caption “Join the UMP”, have been pasted up across the country.   


In an interview with the AFP, a spokesperson for Hollande’s Socialist Party described the campaign as “grotesque”.