Newstalk
Newstalk

11.59 9 Dec 2018


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Emmanuel Macron is set to make 'important announcements' in the coming days in response to a month of major protests.

Huge crowds have been protesting over living costs and a planned fuel tax hike - with protesters having vowed to continue their efforts despite the government's announcement of a six-month suspension of the tax increase.

France is returning to normal today after another day of 'yellow vests' demonstrations yesterday saw the country on partial lockdown.

Landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Louvre museum were closed on Saturday, while almost 90,000 police officers were deployed across the country.

Although the protests have largely been peaceful, there have been violent clashes between police and some demonstrators.

Yesterday's protests did not see the same scale of clashes as the previous week.

However, more than 1,700 people were arrested, while tear gas and water cannon were used by riot police in some areas including central Paris.

The policies of Emmanuel Macron and his government have been a major source of anger and frustration among the 'yellow vest' crowds.

The president himself has been largely quiet in recent days, leaving the public announcements to Prime Minister Édouard Philippe and other ministers.

In comments translated by Reuters, government spokesperson Benjamin Griveaux told LCI television that President Macron will 'of course make important announcements' in the coming days.

However, the spokesperson stressed: “Not all the problems of the ‘yellow vest’ protesters will be solved by waving a magic wand."

Yesterday, Mr Philippe insisted that discussions would continue with those protesting.

He said: "We are meeting all the French people who wish to express their anger. This dialogue has started - it must continue. 

"We must strengthen the unity of our country."


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