World

Ceremony to mark end of WWI disturbed by protests aimed at unpopular President Hollande

  • French president Francois Hollande walks away after paying his respects at a war memorial during the the Armistice Day ceremonies marking the end of World War I, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure, Pool)

    French president Francois Hollande walks away after paying his respects at a war memorial during the the Armistice Day ceremonies marking the end of World War I, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • French president Francois Hollande talks to a woman after laying flowers at a statue of French president Georges Clemenceau, who led the nation into WW1, during the Armistice Day ceremonies marking the end of World War I, in Paris, Monday Nov. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure, Pool)

    French president Francois Hollande talks to a woman after laying flowers at a statue of French president Georges Clemenceau, who led the nation into WW1, during the Armistice Day ceremonies marking the end of World War I, in Paris, Monday Nov. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • French President Francois Hollande, prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, second right, and defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, left, take part in a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Monday Nov. 11, 2013. President Francois Hollande reviewed troops around Paris' iconic Arc de Triomphe and laid a wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier beneath the arch to commemorate France's war dead. Nov. 11 marks the signing of the truce that ended the fighting in World War I. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere/Pool)

    French President Francois Hollande, prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, second right, and defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, left, take part in a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Monday Nov. 11, 2013. President Francois Hollande reviewed troops around Paris' iconic Arc de Triomphe and laid a wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier beneath the arch to commemorate France's war dead. Nov. 11 marks the signing of the truce that ended the fighting in World War I. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere/Pool)  (The Associated Press)

France's unpopular president ignored jeers by protesters as he laid flowers at the tomb of the unknown soldier during a ceremony marking the end of World War I.

Francois Hollande paraded up the Champs Elysees avenue to the Arc de Triomphe monument under sunny skies Monday to outbursts of loud booing from small pockets of the crowd lining his route.

The unusual protest during what was intended as an annual ceremony honoring soldiers who've died in battle made for an inauspicious start to France's year-long commemoration of next year's 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

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