The stench of garbage as workers strike; militant attacks. If France muddles through the first, then it still faces the threat of the second as it kicks off the Euro soccer championship - in what could be a nervous few weeks for markets and for President Hollande. Ivor Bennett reports.
It's the third biggest sporting event in the world. but so far the focus has been on anything but. Violent scuffles between fans and locals breaking out in Marseille before a ball has even been kicked. The ugly scenes aren't just nocturnal. As rubbish continues to pile up in Paris, so do the problems for France's President. Coming out of Euro 2016 smelling of roses will be tough. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) OANDA, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, CRAIG ERLAM, SAYING: "His popularity ratings are extremely low due to the state of the French economy. I think what this does is just put their problems on the global stage so if there's any issues that we have here, which are likely, and Francois Hollande's head is going to be on the line." A lot may depend on the progress of the French national team. Their tag of favourites something Hollande can only dream of. Facing a wave of industrial action, he's said he'll do whatever's needed to ensure the tournament runs smoothly. But with the pickets spreading to train networks, it's the off-field action that has markets on the edge of their seats. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) OANDA, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, CRAIG ERLAM, SAYING: "There's a number of issues facing the French economy, potentially to come is going to be political instability on top of that. So I'm not overly optimistic at this moment in time." These are the images France would prefer the world to see. but even they betray another worry. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FAN FROM POLAND, ATELLA, SAYING: "I think it's good to have more security, because the things that happen now, it's not good, and we need security." France is hoping they won't be needed of course That the tournament is remembered for football rather than fear or filth.