There are always plenty of surprises during the French presidential elections.
A key election test: The price of pain au chocolat – a traditional French pastry, was failed by Jean-Francis Cope, who is currently running to become the presidential candidate of the right-wing Les Republicains, and this shocked the French voters on Monday.
“I have no idea but … I think it must be around 10 or 15 centimes,” Cope told the French radio Europe 1. The selling price is slightly above one euro (nearly $1.09) for the traditional French pastry.
The gaffe by Cope has been mocked all across social media as he suddenly found out. Cope was responsible for overseeing the French budget between 2004 and 2007.
“I admit I am very conscious of my figure. So to be honest, I stopped the “chocolatines” a long time ago,” Cope responded on Twitter which is widely seen as an attempt to recover his credibility as a potential president.
The French presidential election contest is becoming an increasingly febrile and this incident is the latest in that race.
After the publication of a book that showed controversial comments from the socialist politician last week, President Francois Hollande made headlines and is under pressure. He told two French journalists that the country’s magistrates were “cowards”, also criticized national football players, political opponents and a former girlfriend and said that the country had a “problem” with Islam and that there were “too many” immigrants in the country.
“He can’t communicate. He didn’t succeed to find a way to talk to the country,” Fabrice Lhomme, co-author of the book, said.
The question of whether Hollande will run for re-election is still very unclear at this point in time. He is the least popular French president ever, shows recent popularity rankings. In the mean time, including former investment banker and economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, there are at least two players within his socialist party that could throw their hats into the ring.
There was clear evidence of losing steam for business climate in the second largest euro area economy according to data released Tuesday morning. Vincent Juvyns, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management said that the French economy “is clearly behind its peers on the macroeconomic front”, Juvyns said.
Juvyns is confident that the French CAC 40 index will continue to offer “good value” despite the growing political uncertainty as the 2017 presidential election unfolds. Two areas likely to attract investment over the coming months were the infrastructure and luxury goods sectors, he pointed out.
(Adapted from CNBC)