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Home / World / Macron promises minimum wage increases and tax breaks to end protests against "yellow vest": NPR

Macron promises minimum wage increases and tax breaks to end protests against "yellow vest": NPR



French President Emmanuel Macron made a special address to the nation on Monday, his first public commentary after four weeks of nationwide "yellow gilet jaune" protests.

Ludovic Marin / AFP / Getty Images


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Ludovic Marin / AFP / Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron made a special address to the country on Monday, his first public commentary after four weeks of nationwide "yellow gilet jaune" protests.

Ludovic Marin / AFP / Getty Images

President Emmanuel Macron attempted to suppress violent protests in major French cities, and on Monday introduced a series of new measures he hopes will find a way out of the political crisis and put an end to demonstrations against the government.

In a 13-minute speech by the Elysée Palace, Macron declared "a state of social and economic crisis" and offered his critics a handful of concessions, including pledges to grant tax relief to the poor and to break a tax on pensioners.

It was his first public address after a week of silence in which the gilets jaunes – yellow west protests on the streets of Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, continued to wreak havoc and chaos. Lyon, Dijon and Toulouse for the fourth weekend in a row.

Macron's plan to placate the Yellow West included a minimum wage increase of $ 100 a month – $ 114 a month – and is expected to come into effect on January 1, 2019. He brought the increase together with the abolition of the tax on overtime and At the end of the year, the premiums were paid, and he encouraged employers, "who can", to give bonuses to solve the social crisis in France. He has also canceled a planned pension tax under 2,000 euros per month.

This was a broad spectrum of demands from the Yellow West protesters, whose movement has gained widespread support following initial rally against Macron's proposed fuel tax, which was due to take effect in January.

Macron lifted its fuel tax last week, hoping that the demonstrators would be appeased and put an end to the riots and looting in many cities.

In the four weeks since they began, the violent demonstrations have caused millions of dollars in damages – in Paris alone, the city estimated that the December 1 protest caused about € 3.4 million. NPR's Jake Cigainero said the French trade association said companies had sales of at least € 1 billion (more than $ 1.1 billion).

The President, who is accused by the Yellow West of being arrogant, of defeating himself and of representing only the interests of the rich, addressed himself on Monday in soothing and sympathetic tones in the sketched speech of France. He said he understands that the anger against his government is profound and has been developing for decades.

"I may have given you the impression that this was not my concern, that I had other priorities, I take my responsibility, I know I hurt some of you with my words," Macron said.

Macron's decision to raise wages seemed to violate the advice of Labor Minister Muriel Penicaud, who told the Associated Press on Sunday, "There will be no increase for the smic (minimum wage)" because it "destroys jobs." , 19659019] French President holds security briefing on protests against yellow vest “/>

Cigainero reported that French television broadcaster BFM TV showed yellow demonstrators observing the most anticipated speech from Macron's presidency nestling in makeshift camps around small televisions.

One of them, Alain Bouché, admitted that the president had made concessions, but told the network that members of the Yellow Vest would decide whether Marcon's emergency measures would be enough to end the demonstrations.

"If you suggest it now, the government could have done it weeks ago," Bouché said. "So why did they wait until there was conflict and violence?"

Although he admitted that he was partly to blame for the protests, the president condemned the violence seen in the Yellow Vest demonstrations. He said that peace and order must prevail.

"No trouble justifies attacking a policeman, a gendarme, or damaging a shop or a public building, when freedom is released, freedom ends," Macron said.

He finished the short speech by saying that he would meet Mayor region by region to draw a new program.

Then he went into a topic that was not on the long list of demands of the yellow West: He said his government would take steps to control immigration. This seems to be an attempt to prevent the narrative being abducted by the police on the far right.


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