France fuel protests: Macron drives ahead amid unrest - Page 12 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14979113
Beren wrote:I'm sure they can keep romping on the streets for long and come up with ideas like that but what's the end here? It's been going on for 8 or 9 weeks but it doesn't seem to gain traction among the people like a real revolution should.


That was part of my previous question. Is there some sort of political party or something that's gaining support here? Is this going to usher in some kind of sweeping change in the government?

Because if not, then this seems as fruitless as occupy wall street.

I guess they're hoping to cause so much disruption that the government will have to bend to their will (whatever that will is)? Is there a clear list of demands?
#14979139
Rancid wrote:OK, so they just want the wealth tax repealed? Nothing more fundamental?

They always want something more fundamental, of course, because it's always a revolution in France, the French are the great revolutionaries of Europe. I don't know about America but the French Revolution is a great topic in all European history books, greater than the American or the English Revolution, or any revolution for that matter. So they must be totally overwhelmed by their own revolutionary history.
#14979146
Rancid wrote:Is there some sort of political party or something that's gaining support here? Is this going to usher in some kind of sweeping change in the government?

Because if not, then this seems as fruitless as occupy wall street.

I guess they're hoping to cause so much disruption that the government will have to bend to their will (whatever that will is)? Is there a clear list of demands?

It is a manifestation of anger against the ruling political classes, against inequality.
No leader likes the people to come out on the streets and disrupt normal life.
It is bad for the economy, it is bad for the country's elites and it diminishes the prestige of the political leader's class.
If enough people keep on protesting, there is not much the government can do about it.
A thousand people you can beat off the streets, with ten thousand it is not possible to do that, and if hundred thousand come out, the forces of order might join them.
That said, Macron cannot offer a lot to assuage the protester's anger because Europe does not allow budget deficits above 2 percent or thereof.
He is now trying to derail the protests by organising a debate, as long as they are off the streets, lol.
#14979150
Beren wrote:I don't know about America but the French Revolution is a great topic in all European history books, greater than the American or the English Revolution, or any revolution for that matter. So they must be totally overwhelmed by their own revolutionary history.



The French Revolution is a very big deal in European history classes in the US for sure.
#14979169
It is Saturday here in SE Asia.
So, another day of protests in France.
I'll tune in the see how big it is.
I said above somewhere that the Yellow Vests need to at least get the wealth tax reinstated.
What they really need is to get France out of the EU & EZ. With the frank back in use the Fr. Gov. can then use old fashioned Keynesian economics.
Then deficit spending can jump start the economy and get it moving again.
Then other nations will leave the EU & EZ and all Europe will be better off for it.
Then, Europe can form a new EU with a better economic basis. The current one SUCKS.
#14979663
Macron tries to take the initiative it seems.

France 24 wrote:Macron launches national debate to calm ‘Yellow Vest’ protests

Date created : 13/01/2019 - 22:07

President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday kicked off a three-month national debate he hopes can quell the "yellow vest" unrest with a letter to the French in which he pledged to listen to new ideas but stuck to his core economic reform agenda.

Macron's initiative comes after nine weeks of protests by the "yellow vests" -- named after the high-visibility jackets they wear. The disparate anti-government uprising has wreaked havoc in Paris and French cities, shaken the economy and challenged his authority.

"For me, there is no banned issue. We won't agree on everything, which is normal in a democracy. But at least we'll show we're a people which is not afraid of talking, exchanging, debating," Macron wrote in the letter published by his office.

But Macron said he would remain faithful to his campaign manifesto, and appeared to rule out rolling back some of the pro-business economic reforms, such as scrapping a wealth tax, which have earned him the nickname "president of the rich".

"When taxes are too high, our economy is starved of the resources that could be usefully invested in companies, creating jobs and growth," Macron wrote.

"We will not undo the measures we have introduced to put this right, encourage investment and ensure that work pays more."

In the 2,330-word letter, to be published in French newspapers, he also asked a series of questions he hoped the French will answer in town hall meetings across the country or in online questionnaires.

The questions

The questions that will be debated include: "Which taxes do you think should be lowered first?", "Should some public services that are out of date or too expensive be eliminated?", "What concrete proposals do you think would accelerate our environmental transition?" and "Should we use more referendums?".

The immigration question asked: "Once our asylum obligations are fulfilled, do you want parliament to be able to set annual targets?".

While Macron assured that there were "no forbidden questions", he did say that the right to seek asylum "could not be questioned".

He also said the government would not revisit steps taken "to encourage investment and make work pay more".

One of the frequent demands from the protesters, who are mostly from rural or small-town France, is a repeal of Macron's move last year to cut the ISF "fortune tax", which was previously levied on high-earners.

"We will not pursue tax cuts without lowering the overall level of our public spending," Macron said in the letter.

Macron said he would "directly report" on the consultation in the month after the debates, which are to run from January 15 to March 15.

The president will embark on a tour of town-hall meetings around the country, the first of which will be held on Tuesday with local mayors in Bourgtheroulde in northwest France.

'Founding congress' fails

The national debate is the third prong of the 41-year-old leader's strategy for ending the "yellow vest" protests, which erupted over high fuel taxes in November but then ballooned into a widely supported revolt over living standards.

Macron has already opened the state's purse strings, scrapping fuel tax hikes as part of a 10-billion-euro ($11.5-billion) package of wage boosts and tax relief for low earners.

At the same time, the government has vowed to crack down on the continuing Saturday protests in Paris and other cities, with their now-routine scenes of burning cars, smashed up shops and clashes with police.

While the latest protests saw an increase in turnout to 84,000 from 50,000 the previous week, there was a decline in violence, despite hundreds of arrests and clashes with police in Paris and other cities.

To give a more unified response in the debate, some "yellow vests" attempted to form a "founding congress" in the southern city of Perpignan on Sunday.

However. the attempt to build a more traditional leadership structure -- which the movement has so far shunned -- quickly failed, with organisers shouted down by some of the 600 in attendance, a third of whom promptly walked out.

The protesters also came under fire on Sunday over numerous attacks and threats against journalists across the country.

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said "a turning point has been reached" after journalists were beaten, kicked and threatened with rape during the rallies.

"We call on the spokespersons of the 'Yellow Vests' to solemnly condemn increasing violence against journalists during demonstrations," he tweeted.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)
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