Yellow vests were quick to attack Macron’s speech yesterday, and they say his efforts are too little too late.
Rabat – Yellow vest protesters were not convinced of Emmanuel Macron’s sincerity. The president gave a speech yesterday and plans to add more reforms to ease the tensions that have gripped France for the past month.
Macron promised tax cuts on overtime work, encouraged businesses to give end of year bonuses to employees, and promised to raise the minimum wage by €100 in 2019.
Since the protests began, the government has struggled to respond to public anger and maintain order. Initially, Macron and other officials denounced the protesters.
During his Arc de Triomphe speech, Macron promised violent protesters would “face justice,” and interior minister Christophe Castaner labeled the protesters as “thugs” in a tweet.
But it seems the French government has not been watching the same protests as the people have. An Elabe poll released last week found 72 percent of the French public supported the yellow vest protesters.
The effect of this widespread support was felt in Macron’s speech yesterday, when he admitted the protests were “partly my fault,” and gave credit to his many critics.
The yellow vests, however, are not buying his promises. This morning during a gathering of protesters in the city of Le Boulou, they offered their analysis of the speech to the Local.
One 55-year old man said the speech “almost seems like a provocation.” Another exclaimed, “Maybe if Macron had made this speech three weeks ago, it would have calmed the movement, but now it’s too late.”
Most yellow vests vow to continue moving into their fourth week of protests, but, some French protesters are looking to see an end to the carnage. A survey after Macron’s speech yesterday showed 54 percent of the public would like the protests to end soon.
In addition, Jacline Mouraud, the woman credited as being the founder of the yellow vest movement, said in an interview on French television, “The door is now open … we can’t spend the rest of our lives hanging out on roundabouts.”
But dedicated protesters are not wavering. As the protests threaten to persevere into the Christmas season in France, one protester leveled more criticism at Macron, saying this year, “Santa Claus has nothing in his sack.”