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.