With 3 dead and 263 injured, French officials are reeling with the impacts of the yellow vest protests.
Rabat – French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe met with French political officials on Monday to discuss the continuing Yellow Vest protests.
Philippe gathered members of the French administration to develop a solution to the current unrest in France. Philippe even cancelled a planned appearance at the COP24 climate change summit in Poland to call the meeting, according to France 24.
After returning from the G20 summit in Argentina, President Macron also held a talk with the prime minister, along with the interior minister and security officials.
Both branches of the legislative body of France will also address the issue. The National Assembly plans to discuss the protests during its session on Wednesday, and the Senate will do the same on Thursday.
Various government officials addressed the public over the weekend, and Macron spoke at the Arc de Triomphe calling for calm. The finance minister also made promises to decrease government spending to end the unrest.
Several people were injured during the violent protests over the weekend. Officials reported 263 people were injured due to the rioting, 133 of those injuries happening in Paris. The French police also reported that they took 412 people into custody during the weekend, with 378 still in jail as of today.
Three people have died in the protests since they started, , mostly due to traffic accidents as a result of the protests. Protestors burned cars along streets and vandalized buildings, scrawling graffiti on buildings and monuments throughout the capital.
At the height of protests on November 17, protest numbers reached 282,000 people, but have since decreased. However, the government claims protesters continue to damage property and use violence due to people purposely inciting violence.
Macron faces a dilemma with the Yellow Vest protests. Originally campaigning as a “Man of the People,” he is being forced to quell a grassroots movement. His approval ratings fell after he introduced several tax cuts for the wealthy and businesses and increased taxes on fuel. The middle and lower class in France interpreted the policies as a betrayal of them for the benefit of the rich.
As a result, Macron now faces the largest French civil unrest in 50 years with no clear way out.