Foreign correspondent with a focus on French and European politics and culture
A demonstrator waving the French flag along Paris Champs-Elysees, with the Arc de Triomphe in the background, during a demonstration…
PARIS – Again, President Trump hit France – this time against protests that have received much international attention.
What struck him off? Apparently, thousands of people took the streets to ask for something that did not mean American interests.
In Trump’s eyes, the protests – held over France for the second Saturday in a row – did not take into account what he sees as unfair trade agreements between Europe and the United States.
“The big and violent French protests do not take into account how bad the United States has been treated on trade by the European Union or on reasonable and reasonable payments for our GREAT military protection,” wrote Trump. “Both of these topics must be addressed soon.”
The “big and violent French protests” Trump referred to are the “gilet jaune” or the “Yellow West” movement, initiated in response to an increase in diesel prices, a consequence of President Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to limit climate change. But protests grew rapidly from focus on fuel prices to general dissatisfaction with a president whose approval classes have fallen to 26 percent and are often seen as being shut down and in contact with the common people’s concerns.
The larger protest took place the weekend earlier when more than 282,000 people blocked roads across France. According to statistics published by the Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, around 106,000 were gathered this weekend.
But this time, the world’s eyes – including Trumps – were obviously captivated by images of a clash between protesters and police on the Champs-Elysees, one of the main roads in the French capital, if not the world. The police fired tear gas and protesters threw stones.
About 8,000 people gathered on the avenue, according to the Ministry of the Interior.
Despite the drama of these pictures, however, more people gathered in Paris on Saturday to protest – peacefully – for another reason: an end to sexism and violence against women. According to French media reports, as many as 30,000 participated in the second Saturday demonstration.
Trump has since its visit to Paris for the 1918s World War II, which ended World War I, been particularly prominent in his criticism of Macron. The French president, who once tried to court Trump, gave a speech during the Triumphal Arch on November 11, where he condemned nationalism as “the exact opposite of patriotism”, many of which were considered a direct challenge to Trump, previously described as nationalist.
Trump was not too happy with Macron’s comments. He was also upset by what he wrongly understood to be Macron’s belief that Europe needed an independent army to defend itself against the United States.
In fact, Macron has just said – in remarks largely suspected in many English English-language reports – that Europe should not be so dependent on the United States for defense and security, has a line that Trump talked for a long time their discussions with Europe’s leaders.
But it was Macron’s comments on nationalism that faced Trumps Ire.
“The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low authentication certificate in France, 26% and an unemployment rate of almost 10%,” wrote Trump earlier this month. “He just tried to get into another subject. By the way, there is no country more nationalist than France, very proud people – and right!”