Macron: yellow-vest protesters want to bring down the French state

Share

The "yellow vest" movement, which originally erupted over anger at fuel tax increases, has ballooned into a wider protest over rising costs of living and a perceived disregard by Mr Macron for the problems facing rural and small-town France.

The government U-turn appeared to appease few of the protesters, who wear the yellow vests that France requires motorists to have in their vehicles in case of roadside emergencies.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner on Tuesday urged "responsible" protesters not to come to the capital after crowds ran amok last Saturday, burning more than 200 cars, vandalising shops and leaving the Arc de Triomphe daubed in graffiti.

Earlier this week, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe made a decision to suspend planned increases to fuel taxes for at least six months in response to weeks of sometimes violent protests, marking the first major U-turn by Macron's administration in 18 months in office.

Macron has left Philippe to make the public statements concerning the protests.

Four people have died in accidents linked to the protests since they began on November 17, and hundreds have been injured.

And rioting in the streets is what put an end to a new gas-tax proposal in France this week.

However, that move had fuelled criticism that Emmanuel Macron was a "president of the rich", since it would have eased the tax burden for numerous country's wealthiest citizens. "Saturday will be the final outcome, Saturday is the Elysee, we all would like to go to the Elysee", he said.

The concessions made by France's prime minister in a bid to stop the huge and violent anti-government demonstrations that have been rocking France over the past three weeks, seem to have so far failed to convince protesters, with trade unions and farmers now threatening to join the fray.

Farmers will also consider later Wednesday whether to mount a day of demonstrations and possibly road blockades next week, the head of the FNSEA agricultural union said.

Trump urges against oil production cut ahead of OPEC meeting
Negotiations between OPEC members are fraught, however, as some feel that Saudi Arabia wields too much clout in setting policy. The United States is not part of any output-limiting initiative due to its anti-trust legislation and fragmented oil industry.

Ukraine's Poroshenko proposes terminating treaty on friendship with Russian Federation
The Kremlin has called the naval incident a provocation meant to shore up Poroshenko's sagging popularity. But Poroshenko has pledged that martial law wouldn't interfere with the vote.

Brandon Browner sentenced to 8 years in prison for attempted murder
He was with the Seahawks during their Super Bowl win in February 2014 and was signed to Patriots later that year. According to TMZ, Browner's plea resulted in robbery, burglary and false imprisonment charges being dropped.

Philippe said "the tax is now abandoned" in the 2019 budget, and the government is "ready for dialogue".

According to French journalist Agnès C. Poirier, both far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the left-wing group France Unbowed, have tried to link themselves to the Yellow Vest movement-but their attempts have been rebuffed.

With more Yellow Vests protests approaching this weekend Elysee Palace is anxious about a possible coup attempt.

Two truck driver unions called an indefinite sympathy strike from Sunday night, and students are blocking dozens of schools nationwide to denounce tougher university entrance requirements.

At Tolbiac University in downtown Paris, students took over a school building and classes were cancelled.

Labour unions are also meeting Thursday to weigh their response to the movement, which has billed itself as a grassroots protest unaligned with any political party or union.

Griveaux said the wealth tax reform had not been "a gift to the rich" and was aimed at encouraging wealthy individuals to invest more in France.

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Macron's retreat vindicated his rejection of the 2015 Paris Agreement on combating climate change.

Seventy-six per cent of those interviewed said they were "dissatisfied" with Mr Macron's actions as president, with half stressing they "totally disapproved" of his actions.

Share