PARIS (Reuters) – Thousands of people will rally in Paris on Saturday against rising fuel costs and President Emmanuel Macron's…
PARIS (Reuters) – Thousands of people will rally in Paris on Saturday against rising fuel costs and President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policy, the second weekend of “yellow west” protests that has led to massive national disruption.
PHOTO PHOTO: A man wears a mask similar to the French president Emmanuel Macron, as people participate in rural demonstrations with yellow vests, a symbol of French drivers protest at higher fuel prices in Haulchin, France, November 1
7, 2018. REUTERS / Pascal Rossignol / Filfoto
Security forces are concerned that extremist left and right-right can infiltrate the demonstrations and escalate the challenges of the crowd. About 30,000 people are expected to protest in Paris alone, Denis Jacob, Secretary General of the Police Union Alternative Police, told Reuters.
“We know that there are ultra-right and ultra-left infiltrators. You can also expect gangs from the suburbs and black blocks,” he said, referring to a militant protest force.
Some 3,000 police officers were drafted for to work in Paris last Saturday, said the city hall, with security forces who have to handle a demonstration against sexual violence, a football match and a rugby game in the capital the same day.
For more than a week, protesters dressed in the fluorescent yellow jackets all motorists in France must have blocked highways across the country with burning barricades and convoys with slow trucks, blocking access to fuel storage, shopping centers and some factories.
They oppose taxes Macron introduced last year on diesel and gasoline for to encourage people to move towards more environmentally friendly transport. Together with the tax, the government has offered inci tament to buy green or electric vehicles.
Last Saturday, when nearly 300,000 people participated in the first yellow west demonstrations nationwide, retailers reduced daily revenue by 35 percent according to consumer groups.
The worry is a dilemma for Macron who threw himself as a champion against climate change, but has been discouraged by the common people and fights for a decline in popularity.
In Paris, the authorities have allowed a gathering next to the Eiffel Tower on Saturday but rejected requests for protest at Place de la Concorde, close to the National Assembly and the Presidential Palace Elysee Palace. The tower itself will be closed to the public.
Despite the government’s call, the Yellow West projects have spread to French territories abroad, including the Reunion in the Indian Ocean, where cars were fired.
The unrest has left two dead and 606 injured on the mainland France, said the Interior Ministry on Thursday.
While the movement, which has no leader, began as a contradiction to higher fuel prices, it has lost more frustration in the sense of a pressure on household spending during Macron’s 18-month government.
French retailers warned on Friday that protests across the country could track the important Christmas shopping season that began with discounts on Black Friday. [nL8N1XY0XH]
Despite the disturbances, an Elabe questionnaire for BFM TV showed that 70 percent of French still approved the yellow weather movement.
Since Macron has come to power, Macron has set up unions and street demonstrations against their changes to the rules of work and reworked the heavily indebted state tax operator. Foreign investors have largely encouraged their management administration.
But political enemies have dismissed him as “the rich president” to end a VAT, and voters seem to grow restless, with the 40-year-old president’s popularity dropped to almost 20 percent.
Editing Luke Baker and Mark Heinrich
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