Economy

FRENCH CONNECTIONS - Who are the 'gilets jaunes' (yellow vest) protesters?

FRENCH CONNECTIONS - Who are the 'gilets jaunes' (yellow vest) protesters?

Shops were looted and cars torched in plush neighborhoods around the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue. Hundreds of vehicles were set on fire and the Arc de Triomphe was vandalized with the words, "The Yellow Vests will triumph".

She said each of the disparate protesting groups will decide what to do next, but many will probably keep protesting.

Since returning from the G-20 summit in Argentina over the weekend, Macron's actions have done little to reassure protesters that he is listening to their concerns.

Farmers, road hauliers and students joined an escalating revolt against President Macron today as he warned that some protesters were seeking to overthrow the French state.

The president's approval rating fell to 23 percent in a poll conducted late last week, down six points from the previous month, while the prime minister's rating fell 10 points to 26 percent.

Leftwing critics and labour unions have said the tax cut for the rich was particularly galling since Mr Macron's government has raised taxes or cut benefits for pensioners and others at the lower end of the social ladder.

The Elysée also confirmed the announcement to network France 24.

He added that "no tax should endanger national unity" and the "violence must stop".

A protester wearing a yellow vest, the symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher diesel fuel prices, holds a flag near burning debris at the approach to the A2 Paris-Brussels Motorway, in Fontaine-Notre-Dame, France, December 4, 2018.

"The moment that we are living through is not about political opposition, it's about the republic", Griveaux said after a cabinet meeting. "I'm calling this government to resign", Valette said.

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French citizens were already hit with a tax increase in January, and more than 60% of the cost of fuel in France comes from government fees.

The prime minister also spoke of the protesters. "It's a change of course". She says Macron's move on Wednesday night "is on the right path but in my opinion it will not fundamentally change the movement".

Mr Trump wrote on Twitter: "I am glad that my friend @EmmanuelMacron and the protestors in Paris have agreed with the conclusion I reached two years ago".

"The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters...in the world".

"It's a first step, but we will not settle for a crumb", said Benjamin Cauchy, a protest leader.

One activist said Wednesday that he fears more deaths if Saturday's "yellow vest" demonstration in Paris goes ahead, and urged Macron to speak out and bring calm to the nation. In the southern city of Marseille, students clashed with police outside a high school. More protests are expected to come on Saturday, reports Fox News. "If at the end of these discussions no good solutions have been found, we will accept the consequences" Mr Griveaux said.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen tweeted that the delay in price rises was "obviously not up to the expectations of the French people struggling with precariousness", and noted sarcastically that it is "surely a coincidence" that the price hikes will now come into effect a few days after European Union elections.

They have grown to reflect more widespread anger at the government.

Four people have been killed in the unrest since mid-November.