France's President Francois Hollande booed at World War I ceremony


People hold placards representing French President Francois Hollande and reading "Get out! Hollande-resignation.fr" as Hollande leaves a ceremony commemorating the World War I armistice on Nov. 11, 2013, in Oyonnax, central France.



French police detained around 70 people Monday after President Francois Hollande was booed by protesters at an Armistice Day memorial ceremony.

According to local media, it was the first time a French president had been jeered on the day commemorating the signing of the armistice ending World War I in 1918.

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Protesters shouted "Hollande, step down" and "Socialist dictator!" as Hollande's motorcade made its way up Champs-Elysees boulevard to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe in central Paris.

Scuffles broke out between some protesters and police.

Arrests were made because the demonstration had not been authorized, according to a source from the presidential palace cited by Reuters.

Hollande's popularity has sunk to record lows amid growing dissatisfaction over weak economic growth, high taxes and rising joblessness.

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Interior Minister Manuel Valls told Reuters the protesters included members of far-right groups opposed to government policies such as same-sex marriages.

Some of those shouting slogans against Hollande were wearing red bonnets, headwear that has come to symbolize a growing feeling of despondency over rising taxes and record unemployment in France. The movement emerged last month in the agricultural region of Brittany, where people took to the streets wearing the hats in reference to a famous 17th-century "Red Bonnet Revolt" against tax hikes.

But Christian Troadec, a spokesman for the red bonnet demonstrators, condemned the Paris protesters, telling AFP they had "nothing to do with our movement."

Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.