French Protests

Emmanuel Macron was elected President of France on 7 May 2017, a series of protests have been conducted by trade union and left-wing activists in opposition to what protesters consider to be neoliberal policies.

The yellow vests movement (French: Mouvement des gilets jaunes) is a political movement that started online in May 2018 and led to demonstrations that began in France on 17 November 2018. The protests are against rising fuel prices, the high cost of living, burden on the working and middle class. Protesters have called for reductions in fuel taxes, the reintroduction of the solidarity tax on wealth, the raising of the minimum wage, and the resignation of Emmanuel Macron as President of France.

Yellow vests protesters had gathered in Paris on 15 th December 2018 and other cities for a fifth consecutive Saturday of demonstrations. About 69,000 police have been mobilised across France to prevent a repeat of the violence of previous weeks.

Protesters defied a government call to suspend the action following Tuesdays attack on Strasbourgs Christmas market where a gunman killed four people. Scuffles broke out in the centre of Paris on Saturday and police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd trying to make their way through police lines.

President Emmanuel Macron responded to the nationwide street protests by scrapping an unpopular fuel tax rise and promising an extra €100 a month for minimum wage earners and tax cuts for pensioners.

The BBCs Hugh Schofield in Paris says some in the movement are calling for a pause following President Macrons concessions, but there are still yellow vests around the country who feel now is not the time to ease the pressure.

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