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skinster wrote:It's heartwarming to see the protest of the last weekend being the biggest to date.
France 24 wrote:Macron's open letter on a 'grand debate' comes under fire from rivals, yellow vests
Date created : 14/01/2019 - 18:30
French President Emmanuel Macron announced a three-month "grand debate" in an open letter to the French on Sunday, hoping to quell "yellow vest" unrest by promising to listen to new ideas but vowing to proceed with economic reforms.
Anti-government protesters and political rivals of President Emmanuel Macron criticized a sweeping "letter to the French" he issued after two months of weekly demonstrations, saying Monday his response was inadequate to quell anger over his economic policies.
The letter released Sunday explained how Macron wants to address the concerns roused by the yellow vest movement with a "grand debate" on taxes, public services, climate change and democracy.
The three-month initiative is supposed to take place at local meetings around the country and on the internet starting Tuesday. The French leader said no topics are prohibited and he listed more than 30 questions.
He suggested that citizens express their views on which taxes should be lowered and offer ideas for reducing the cost of transportation, heating and food.
Yellow vest representative Jeremy Clement told BFM television the president's letter "settles part of the problem" but doesn't go far enough to address the sinking purchasing power of French citizens.
One protester, Jerome Rodrigues, told CNews he thinks Macron failed to recognize "the urgency" of financial concerns among low-income workers and retirees.
Others criticized Macron for ruling out restoring a wealth tax on households with assets above 1.3 million euros ($1.5 million.)
Opposition leaders also criticized the letter.
The spokeswoman for the conservative Republicans party, Laurence Sailliet, said "this letter doesn't allow us to know if Macron will realize the mistakes he made and will actually change his policy."
The spokesman of far-right National Rally party, Sebastien Chenu, called it "hypocritical claptrap." Far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon called the letter "a failure" that doesn't address the French's concerns.
Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, speaking on France Inter radio, said "the message of the yellow vests has been heard. We are making something constructive out of it."
An online poll by French institute YouGov this month showed 40 percent of respondents said they wanted to take part in the debate while 39 percent didn't want to and the remainder didn't know.
Skepticism about the debate's usefulness appeared on social media.
Paris resident Jerome Huntziger told the AP the public conversation "won't change anything."
"The feeling of the French is a fed-up feeling on a certain number of things, a feeling of not being listened to by the national representatives," he said.
The French Interior Ministry said about 84,000 people turned out on Saturday for the ninth straight round of demonstrations across France.
Thierry Paul Valette, founder of a group called "yellow vests citizens" told the AP the yellow vests would have "no break. The mobilizations continue."
The movement emerged in mid-November as a response to fuel tax increases, and is named for the fluorescent garments motorists are required to keep in vehicles.
B0ycey wrote:Are you talking about Trump? :?:
However, that would imply that roughly 50% of France still approves of Macron. Is that true? From what I see on this thread, sounds like far more than 50% don't like him
I guess it must be voters regret? Is that what this is? If not, then these protests are being overstated? It can't be both, right?
B0ycey wrote:Nonetheless perhaps he was the best of a bad bunch. He was against Le Pen in the final round after all. Although really Macron is a remedy to a fundamental problem. That is France needs reform but no one wants to pay for it and as such he is losing popularity by pressing forward with reform (but has conceded on fuel duty nonetheless). And as the French have history of revolt, it doesn't take much for revolt to occur either. But the numbers on the street speaks volumes. The videos may look impressive but it isn't like most of Paris is out on the streets. Just the minority of diehards who cause havoc.
Rancid wrote:Would you agree that Macron is sort of the sacrificial lamb for reform in France? Will some of the reform endure beyond Macron's tenure? Or will it all be reversed?
Further, is there an argument to be made that some of these reforms are just the bad tasting medicine that France needs to take?
Beren wrote:What's your source? According to the article I quoted 84,000 turned out the last weekend, whereas there was a 125,000 turnout on the 4th week. It seems to fluctuate rather than steadily grow.
skinster wrote:I don't remember, I read it somewhere. Both numbers you mention anyway are high turn-outs for protests.
Beren wrote:I thought you'd seen it with your very own eyes and that's why it was so heartwarming.
No, I read about it somewhere in the last couple of days but I can't remember where, either way the numbers of those out are heart-warming.
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