Hollande bids to deflect glare from private life to reforms
PARIS (REUTERS) - President Francois Hollande will aim at a news conference on Tuesday to set out plans to revive the weak French economy and deflect questions about his private life after allegations surfaced of a secret love affair with an actress.
His New Year's encounter with journalists in his Elysee Palace will be the French leader's first public appearance since a celebrity magazine on Friday published photos it said showed Mr Hollande making a nocturnal visit to a lover.
His office complained of breach of privacy but did not issue a denial. The saga took a surprise new turn on Sunday when it emerged that his long-term partner, Ms Valerie Trierweiler, had been admitted to hospital in a state of shock.
"This major political event must remain a major political event," Mr David Assouline, spokesman for Mr Hollande's Socialist party, said of the 4.30pm (11.30pm Singapore time) news conference, an annual setpiece which could go on as long as two hours.