Monday, 17 December, 2018

Macron caves in to French protesters - too late, they say

French govt moots further concessions to pacify protesters French govt moots further concessions to pacify protesters
Pablo Mccormick | 05 December, 2018, 18:42

A sit-in of 5,000 Yellow Vests on Capitol Square in Toulouse would have more impact on the public authorities than these images of violence.

In the port city of Marseille, students clashed with police outside a high school - one of about 100 high schools around France that were blocked or otherwise disrupted by student protests, according to the Education Ministry. Small-business owners blocked roads to protest high taxes.

Demonstrators were back in the streets wearing their signature yellow vests despite the announcement.

"I am glad that my friend Emmanuel Macron and the protestors in Paris have agreed with the conclusion I reached two years ago", said Trump.

Trade unions have not so far played a role in the improvised movement, but are now trying to capitalize on the growing public anger.

The prime minister also spoke of the protesters.

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Farmers union FNSEA said it would fight to help farmers earn a better income, though it said it would not officially be joining forces with the "yellow vests", as the protesters have come to be called after the high-visibility vests French motorists are required to keep in their cars, and which they don for demonstrations.

"We need taxes, but they are not properly redistributed", protester Thomas Tricottet told BFM television.

Is Macron now weaker than EVER before after protests and rebellion in France? .

It is unclear whether the government's latest moves will put an end to the protests.

On Tuesday, Philippe announced a freeze in electricity and natural gas prices until May 2019, and warned protesters against more disruptions.

On Wednesday, the government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told RTL radio the government could reconsider those proposals if it felt the move was not working.

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It quickly grew into wider protests against Macron, whom many accuse of representing a Parisian elite with little understanding of their monthly struggle to make ends meet.

Macron is a 40-year-old former investment banker and economy minister.

He has refrained from speaking publicly about the protests, and has largely remained in his palace residence.

He also visited local government offices in the central town of Puy-en-Velay, which were torched during a protest last weekend - and was booed upon leaving.

The protests began November 17 with motorists upset over the fuel tax increase, but have grown to encompass a range of complaints - the stagnant economy, social injustice and France' tax system.

President Emanuel Macron announced the tax increases last month.

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On Monday, about 50 wounded Houthi rebels were evacuated from the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and flown to Oman to receive treatment. The rebel group had wanted guarantees its fighters would be able to leave and return to Yemen safely, among other demands.

"The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters", said Trump, referring to a global deal on the environment drafted in Paris in late 2015.

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